Saturday, April 1 2023

KD passionately addresses NBA legacy amid Nets struggles originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The storyline following Kevin Durant hasn’t changed: He hasn’t won a title without the help of another superstar (or three).

Both championship rings in his possession were won when he teamed up with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green for a pair of titles over three years with the Warriors.

Now starring for the Brooklyn Nets, Durant discussed his NBA legacy in an exclusive interview with Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes.

“All that extra s–t like, ‘You got to win before you retire and make sure your legacy is straight,’ that’s bulls–t to me,” Durant told Haynes. “My legacy is predicated on what Cam Thomas is learning from me and what he’ll take away to help him by the time he’s in his 10th year. That’s my legacy. What I did with Andre Roberson, the confidence I helped him build when he was in the league. That’s my legacy. Being able to play with Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry and Kyrie [Irving] and still be me. Yeah, that’s my legacy. That’s who I am. That’s what I bring to the game.

“I can play with anybody, anywhere, at any time, and you know I’m going bring it every day. That should be my legacy.”

Durant landed with the Nets in the summer of 2019, hoping to start his own dynasty with point guard Kyrie Irving. But his tenure in Brooklyn has seen nothing but road blocks.

The Nets have won just one playoff round since Durant arrived. Their trade for James Harden didn’t work. Irving hasn’t played more than 54 games over their four seasons together, and currently is serving a suspension for spreading antisemitic disinformation on social media. Ben Simmons, acquired in the second Harden blockbuster trade, looks lost.

That leaves Durant on his own, playing without another superstar. The Nets have struggled out of the gate to a 6-9 record.

“Look at our starting lineup,” Durant told Haynes. “Edmond Sumner, Royce O’Neale, Joe Harris, [Nic] Claxton and me. It’s not disrespect, but what are you expecting from that group? 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.”

It’s quite different than the lineup Durant played alongside in the Bay. It was four future Hall of Famers — Curry, Thompson, Durant and Green — starting alongside centers Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee in the clinching games of the 2017 and ’18 NBA Finals, respectively.

Still, though — even after making waves around the NBA this summer by requesting a trade from Brooklyn only to return — Durant insists he’s enjoying his time on the court.

RELATED: Why Dray views Dubs’ bench as ‘different’ obstacle for dynasty

“I’m really having a good time,” Durant told Haynes. “I wish y’all could hear me talk during the game. If I got mic’d up more, people would stop asking me if I’m happy or not. I’m enjoying every moment I get to step on this f–king court, and part of it is because I tore my Achilles. And the pandemic, I didn’t know if we were going to play again. I didn’t know if I was going to play again.

“I was just like, ‘This can’t be it for me.’ I have to really enjoy every single moment I’m out here. That’s part of being a pro. I have to be coachable, I have to knock down shots, I have to be aggressive, and I have to talk to my teammates the right way. That’s the journey and the battle.”

The Warriors will cross paths with Durant and the Nets for the first time this season Dec. 21 when they pay a visit to the Barclays Center.

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Source: Yahoo Sports


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