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#pounditSaturday, September 24, 2022

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant taking up interesting new sport this offseason

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

Kevin Durant is finally logging off Twitter and getting a little bit of fresh air this offseason.

Video went viral of the Brooklyn Nets star Durant playing some pickleball at a local rec center. Durant showed off a solid backhand and declared that he was “getting the hang of it.” Take a look.

For the 6-foot-11 Durant, his height advantage is probably negated playing a sport with a 36-inch-high net. But pickleball is still a pretty good way for the ex-NBA MVP to keep his reflexes sharp during the hiatus between seasons.

Durant is hardly a revolutionary however when it comes to new sporting ventures. Last year, we saw another top NBA superstar try his hand at a similar sport as well.

Steph Curry makes revelation about Kevin Durant on Warriors

Stephen Curry during a playoff game

Jun 13, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) gestures after defeating the Boston Celtics in game five of the 2022 NBA Finals at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Steph Curry made an interesting revelation about Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors.

Curry conducted an interview with Rolling Stone that was published in part on Sunday. In the interview, Curry was asked about the Warriors potentially pursuing Durant this summer in response to KD’s trade request from the Brooklyn Nets.

Curry said that when Durant made his trade request, the Warriors’ front office began considering a reunion with KD. The front office called Curry to ask for his feelings on a potential trade. Curry said he was ready to team up with Durant again.

“I was never hesitant,” Curry told Rolling Stone. “The idea of playing with KD and knowing who he is as a person, from our history in those three years, I think KD’s a really good dude. I think he is misunderstood. I think he has had certain things happen in his life that hurt his ability to trust people around him, in a sense of making him feel safe at all times. So all of those things, I understand, having played with him and gotten to know him. I love that dude.”

Curry went on to say that even though he would love to team up with Durant again, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have confidence in his current teammates. Curry recognized that acquiring Durant would have required trading away many players. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t feel they could win with those players just as they did last season.

Durant was with the Warriors for three seasons from 2016-2019. They won championships the first two seasons and lost to the Raptors in the NBA Finals the third season. Both Durant and Klay Thompson suffered serious injuries that postseason.

Curry’s admission about wanting to team with Durant, who ultimately was not traded by Brooklyn, shows how little of an ego the four-time NBA champion has. That shows Curry’s true priority is winning, not being the star of a team.

Some people questioned Curry’s legacy and argued that Durant was the best player on the team. Curry obviously doesn’t mind what people say about him, because he is comfortable just winning and knowing how good he is.

Kevin Durant takes issue with ‘laughable’ disrespect from video game

Kevin Durant with a hood on

May 8, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) warms up before game against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant is not happy with one video game company over the way they disrespected him.

NBA 2K has been releasing the ratings for the upcoming version of its video game, 2K23. On Tuesday, the game company revealed on social media that Durant has a rating of 96 out of a possible 99 in this year’s version of the game.

KD was not happy, as you could imagine.

Durant said he wanted an explanation for the slight.

“This has become laughable,” the former MVP added.

Durant may be 33 years old, and his team may have been swept in the first round of the playoffs, but there are no signs that the Brooklyn Nets forward’s game is falling off.

Durant averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.9 blocks per game last season. He also narrowly missed having another 50/40/90 season by shooting 51.8 percent on field goals, 38.3 percent on three-pointers, and 91.0 percent on free throws.

Durant remains one of the best players in the game and extremely worthy of a 99 rating. He’s so good that the Nets couldn’t find a trade they felt sent them an equal return for the 12-time All-Star.

Kevin Durant fires back at another social media critic

Kevin Durant dribbles the ball

Oct 11, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) in action against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant is not backing down in the face of criticism over how he handled his offseason trade request from the Brooklyn Nets.

On Sunday, Durant took notice of a tweet suggesting that his trade gambit would have negative repercussions for future players. The tweet argued that future CBA negotiations will look to weaken player power in light of Durant and Kyrie Irving making organizational demands backed by trade threats so quickly after signing big contracts with the Nets.

Durant replied sarcastically, hinting that this is just the latest in a string of criticism that blames him and Irving for the league’s problems.

Durant may have a point, at least in a roundabout way. If owners are going to seek increased protection from trade demands in future CBA talks, that ball got rolling before Durant ever did anything.

Durant has been hearing it from a lot of different directions this offseason over his handling of his trade demand. Responding to the criticism has not really helped his cause, but that’s just the way he always has been.

Ex-NBA center tells Kevin Durant to ‘shut up and dribble’

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

Kevin Durant has a hater whose name surprisingly doesn’t sound like “Gnarls Barkley.”

Retired former NBA center Scot Pollard appeared this week on “The Celtics Collective Podcast” and bashed Durant for his conduct over the summer.

“I heard that he said he wanted to fire the GM and the coach, and it’s like you just got $190 million or whatever,” said Pollard of Durant, per Matt John of Heavy.com. “Just sorry, shut up and dribble, man.

“I’d be happy when I got my six years,” Pollard went on. “I was like, I’ll shut up and dribble for all six years. Just tell me where to be, I’ll be there. You tell me where we’re going, I’ll be there early. I’ll do everything you asked me to do because you’re making me a wealthy person. Well, rich, not wealthy.”

Pollard, 47, played in the NBA for 11 seasons from 1997 to 2008. He was a member of the Boston Celtics team that won the NBA title in 2008 and competed on the show “Survivor” in 2016 after retiring from basketball.

As for Durant, who has four years and $194.2 million left on his contract, he requested a trade from the Nets this offseason … despite the team allowing him to handpick teammates, coaches, and more. Pollard is referring to the stunning ultimatum Durant reportedly gave Brooklyn on top of his trade demand. It was ultimately an airball though for Durant, who has now rescinded his trade request and will remain on the Nets roster.

Kevin Durant unloads on ex-NBA player who fell for fake report about Nets

Kevin Durant dribbles the ball

Oct 11, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) in action against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant is breaking the ankles this week of a 57-year-old retiree.

Ex-NBA center Olden Polynice, who played in the league for 15 total seasons from 1987 to 2003, got duped by a fake report that was recently put out by notorious Twitter parody account Ballsack Sports. A joke tweet from the account claimed that Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving had an incident with head coach Steve Nash. The tweet said that Irving referred to Nash’s MVPs as “Kobe [Bryant]’s MVP trophies” during a team dinner at Nash’s house (Nash won NBA MVP in 2004-05 and 2005-06 over Bryant, among others).

Like everything else that Ballsack Sports puts out there, the tweet was obvious satire. But that much was lost on Polynice, who went on a recent episode of FOX Sports Radio’s “The Odd Couple” and presented the “report” as truth. Polynice even put his own twist on the story, claiming Irving told Nash, “You need to give those MVP trophies back to Kobe.” Take a listen.

Durant caught wind of Polynice’s major goof and went in on the former center over Twitter. The ex-MVP Durant called out Polynice for his “generational lie” and tweeted a close-up of Polynice’s face.

In an interesting strategy, Polynice somehow tried to double down on his claim at that point and even pumped his fist for getting Durant’s attention. Durant then replied by telling Polynice that “U have no impact on anything” and to “Enjoy retirement lol.”

Drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1987, Polynice is perhaps most known for being traded to the Seattle SuperSonics in exchange for the rights to Scottie Pippen (oof). Polynice also currently lists himself in his Twitter bio as a “Fox Sports NBA analyst.”

All things considered, Polynice probably shouldn’t hang his head for too long. Plenty of more prominent sports media personalities have also fallen for Ballsack Sports tweets (and have gotten roasted by Durant for it as well).

Charles Barkley has incredible nickname for Kevin Durant

Charles Barkley holds a microphone

November 23, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Turner Sports sportscaster Charles Barkley before The Match: Tiger vs Phil golf match at Shadow Creek Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Charles Barkley has an incredible nickname for Kevin Durant.

Barkley was a guest on “Bickley & Marotta” on Arizona Sports radio 98.7 FM Thursday. One of the subjects he talked about was Durant, and Barkley did not hold back regarding “Mr. Miserable.”

“He seems like a miserable person, man. I call him Mr. Miserable, he’s never going to be happy. Everybody’s given him everything on a silver platter. He was the man in Oklahoma City, they loved him, he owned the entire state. He bolts on them and wins back-to-back championships (with Golden State), and he’s still not happy. Then he goes to Brooklyn, they give him everything he wants and he’s still miserable,” Barkley said.

It’s hard to disagree with Barkley and the humorous nickname he gave for the Brooklyn Nets star.

Like Chuck said, Durant wasn’t happy in OKC even though KD was an absolute star there and beloved in the area. Then KD chose to join the Warriors, but left after three years and was unhappy. Then he handpicked his next team — the Nets, handpicked his teammates, and approved the hiring of the team’s head coach. Despite making all these choices and basically building his own team, this summer he demanded a trade.

If picking his own team, his teammates, and his coach won’t make him happy, what will? Plus, Durant is constantly arguing with people on Twitter.

Like Barkley says, Durant never seems to be happy.

Kevin Durant responds after being ripped by Patrick Beverley

Patrick Beverley warming up

Apr 3, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverley (22) warms up before the game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant could have saved himself a lot of trouble if he decided he was sticking with the Brooklyn Nets three months ago, but he has instead opened himself up to another wave of criticism. You can probably guess how he is handling it.

The Nets issued a statement on Tuesday announcing that Durant met with team executives and head coach Steve Nash. The two sides have decided they will “move forward with our partnership” despite Durant trying to force a trade. Fellow NBA star Patrick Beverley was one of the people who criticized Durant for the seemingly sudden change of heart.

As he often does, Durant fired back with a sarcastic response:

Durant had to know this was coming. He requested a trade early in the offseason and then reportedly tried to give the Nets an ultimatum when they made no real effort to deal him. The 12-time All-Star probably came to the realization that the odds of him being traded were low and could no longer deal with the backlash. He is still going to receive plenty, anyway.

Nets issue statement announcing major Kevin Durant decision

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

Kevin Durant has apparently had a change of heart.

After asking the Brooklyn Nets to trade him and then recently reiterating his stance, Durant has decided that he wants to move forward with his current team. The Nets released a brief statement on Tuesday announcing that team executives met with Durant and Durant’s agent and the two sides “have agreed to move forward with our partnership.”

Steve Nash was also part of the meeting, which likely means Durant is still open to playing for the head coach.

Durant first requested a trade back in June. He then reiterated his stance in a meeting with Nets owner Joe Tsai earlier this month. Durant reportedly told Tsai during that meeting that he either wanted the Nets to part with Nash and general manager Sean Marks or trade Durant.

The Nets had attached an asking price to Durant that some teams viewed as unrealistic, which which may have been by design. Their best chance at contending for a title next season is to keep their core of Durant, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons together. Durant may have come to the realization that staying in Brooklyn will give him his best chance to win, too.

Report: New contending team enters mix for Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant dribbles the ball

Oct 11, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) in action against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets are still fielding offers for Kevin Durant, and a new team has reportedly entered the mix for the two-time NBA Finals MVP.

The Memphis Grizzlies recently reached out to the Nets to discuss a potential Durant trade, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. It is unclear if they made a formal offer, but the Grizzlies have several first-round picks available in addition to a core of young, talented players.

Brooklyn is obviously seeking multiple first-round picks in any Durant trade, and the Grizzlies have five available. Charania reports that they seem more inclined to part with their draft picks than they do young players like Jaren Jackson Jr. or Desmond Bane.

When news first broke in June that Durant had asked the Nets for a trade, Grizzlies star Ja Morant was one of the first who appeared to subtly recruit Durant.

Memphis finished second in the Western Conference last season with a 56-26 record. They lost in six games to the eventual NBA champion Golden State Warriors in the second round of the playoffs.

The Nets have not shown a sense of urgency to trade Durant despite him giving team owner Joe Tsai an ultimatum. They appear committed to their high asking price, at least for now. One team has been viewed as the unofficial front-runner to land Durant if he is eventually moved.