Tuesday, May 30 2023
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Kevin Durant, even by his stratospheric standards, is playing out of his mind this season, and the Brooklyn Nets are humming to the tune of a seven-game winning streak. Entering Friday night’s tilt with the Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn is 20-12 and just three losses back of the East’s top seed. 

Considering everything that went on this summer, most notably Durant’s trade request, this all makes for what is probably the best, or at least the biggest, story in basketball right now. If the league knew all the chaos would lead to this point, Brooklyn surely would have been included in the Christmas schedule, which serves as a marketing campaign disguised as basketball games between the league’s marquee teams and players. 

Of course, nobody thought the Nets would end up here. Durant seemed as good as gone for a minute, and once he went, Kyrie Irving likely would’ve been next out the door. Rather than put all its eggs in the “Ben Simmons is as franchise player basket” the league left Brooklyn off the Christmas slate. 

Durant understands the decision, and he even took the blame when recently responding to a question of whether he feels the league is now regretting its decision to not showcase the Nets on Christmas, specifically against their crosstown rival Knicks

“Knicks-Nets would’ve been a great Christmas day matchup,” Durant said. “Yeah, there’s probably some people [regretting the decision], especially with the way the Knicks are playing and the way we’re playing right now. I feel like that would’ve been a perfect matchup on Christmas. Hopefully we can get that going forward. But yeah, I probably [am] responsible for us not playing on Christmas with what went on this summer.”

Durant is right. Knicks vs. Nets, with both teams playing this well, would’ve been a dream Christmas matchup for the league, and indeed, Durant’s trade request was undoubtedly at the center of Brooklyn being left off the slate. Good on him for the candor, and there is one bit of between-the-lines good news for the Nets here. Durant saying “hopefully we get that [Knicks-Nets matchup] moving forward” is an indication that, at least at this point in time, Durant isn’t planning on putting out another trade request. 

We’ll see if that lasts if Brooklyn’s winning ways don’t do the same. 

Source: CBSSports.com


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