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#pounditSunday, December 3, 2023

Kevin Durant has harsh comments about Nets’ starting lineup

Kevin Durant looks up

Apr 23, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) looks up at the scoreboard in the third quarter against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets have not looked like a championship contender through the early part of the season, and the current state of their roster has a lot to do with that. Ben Simmons has battled injuries and other issues. Kyrie Irving is still serving a suspension. What the Nets have been left with is not exactly an All-Star starting lineup. Just ask Kevin Durant.

Durant opened up about the current state of the Nets in a lengthy interview with Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes. The two-time NBA Finals MVP said he is enjoying the challenges this season has presented him with. He feels one of those challenges is trying to win alongside an unproven supporting cast. Durant had an interesting way of expressing that.

“Look at our starting lineup. Edmond Sumner, Royce O’Neale, Joe Harris, [Nic] Claxton and me. It’s not disrespect, but what are you expecting from that group?” Durant said. “You expect us to win because I’m out there. So if you’re watching from that lens, you’re expecting us to play well because No. 7 is out there.”

The context is important. Durant’s comments came on the heels of Brooklyn’s 153-121 blowout loss to the Sacramento Kings. What he likely meant is that it is on him to carry the load for the Nets with Irving out and Simmons struggling. That is a role Durant has embraced. He said he wants his NBA legacy to be how he helped players around him improve and elevate their games.

Still, that sounded pretty harsh. It is probably safe to assume Durant is one of the people in the Nets organization who are frustrated with Simmons. The same is likely true of his feelings toward Irving, though nothing Kyrie does should surprise KD at this point.

The Nets fell to 6-9 with their loss to Sacramento. They have played better under Jacque Vaughn, but Durant is going to have to continue to carry the load for the time being. Whether his teammates want him to say that out loud is another discussion.


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