Everyone wants to know: Why did Kevin Durant pick the Brooklyn Nets?
While Durant himself hasn’t publicly given his reason, his new general manager Sean Marks offered insight in an interview on WFAN on Tuesday.
“Well, he said a couple things,” Marks said of his conversation with Durant. “He did say, and I don’t want to get into the whole thing … he did say ‘Look, I love the system, I love how you guys play, I see how hard you guys play, you’re never out of games, we could never take you guys lightly.’ That was one of the first things he said. ‘If we were up 10 with two minutes to go, that doesn’t mean anything against Brooklyn.’ That’s a real credit to the competitive environment that [Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson] has really brought. He’s spearheaded that.”
In three seasons under Atkinson, the Nets have gone from 20 wins to 28 to 42. With a young team, Brooklyn secured the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference last year, and lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
Much like Warriors fans back in 2016 when Durant signed with Golden State, Marks has found himself in disbelief that Durant now plays for his team.
“I’m not going to lie, there’s been a couple of times I’m definitely excited about [it],” Marks said. “Kevin for sure, the whole group and really the challenge of getting all these guys together on the same page and watching how it unfolds.”
Marks said Durant gave the Nets no heads up about his decision, and that the team found out when the two-time NBA Finals MVP announced his decision on Instagram.
“What we knew was we were either getting a teleconference call with Kevin that night or we were potentially going to get a meeting,” Marks said. “We’d seen some media reports earlier in the day that Kevin had crossed several teams off his list and we were still one of them. And those reports were there for everybody to read. And then when Kevin posted it on The Boardroom Instagram site, that was news to all of us in the office.”
Durant is expected to miss the entire 2019-20 season as he recovers from the torn Achilles he suffered in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals. Instead of flying back to the Bay Area to have surgery, Durant flew to New York and had the surgery performed by Nets team physician Martin O’Malley.
Marks, though, doesn’t believe Durant’s injury helped the Nets land him.
“I’ve never actually asked him that,” Marks said. “I know he is, since signing with us, met all our performance team and I could see the look on his face, that he was certainly pleased with what we had in front of him.”
[RELATED: Warriors alarmed by KD’s lack of joy]
We have yet to hear from Durant on all of these subjects, but we finally have a little bit of insight into why Durant left the Warriors. Once he’s ready to speak hopefully we’ll get the complete story.