Ex-Nets teammate makes wild claim about Kevin Durant
The seeds of Kevin Durant’s discontent in Brooklyn were planted well before his official trade request, at least if you believe one of his former teammates.
Appearing this week on an episode of the Players Choice podcast, ex-Nets guard Mike James made a pretty crazy claim about Durant. James said that Durant called him before this year’s playoffs started and said that the Nets were about to lose.
“When I went back overseas, [we talked] like, ‘Alright, whoever season end first, the other one gonna come to watch the playoffs,'” said James. “When I first said it, I thought, ‘OK, you’re gonna be in the Finals. I’m gonna get to go to the Finals, that’s lit.’ So when they was trash and they was losing, I called him one day and was like, ‘Alright, you know what this means right? You gonna come to my playoff game.’ He was like, ‘It’s no way I’m coming to your playoff game.’
“Then like a week later, he called me before the playoffs start,” James added of Durant. “He’s like, ‘Yeah, imma be there in like a couple of weeks. We [the Nets are] fitting to lose.”
"[Kevin Durant] called me before the playoffs start, he's like, 'Yeah, I'm gonna be there [at your playoff game] in like a couple weeks. We fitting to lose.'" 🤯
— Mike James
(via @PlayersChoice_, h/t @blbuckets3)pic.twitter.com/f6wQY4wzHF
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) August 1, 2022
Players Choice clarified in a later tweet that James was referring to the Euroleague playoffs when he said “before the playoffs start.”
For context: NBA Playoffs start before Euroleague playoffs so when Mike says “before the playoffs start,” he’s referring to Euroleague playoffs, not NBA. The Brooklyn series was already about to be over. https://t.co/xnQAhHvs4J
— Players Choice (@PlayersChoice_) August 1, 2022
But even so, that is a neglible difference since both the Euroleague playoffs and the NBA playoffs began in mid-April this year within just a couple days of each other. James’ own quote even indicates that Durant was calling Brooklyn’s elimination “a couple weeks” before it happened.
Indeed, the Nets would get swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the NBA playoffs. To his credit, Durant made good on his promise to James, who was his teammate in Brooklyn during the 2020-21 season. But Durant apparently giving up on the Nets’ playoff hopes while the season was still going is a fairly wild relevation if true.