I don’t think KD’s request that’s the Nets fire Steve Nash and Sean Marks is the full story.
I wrote a post over a month ago, right when KD first demanded a trade out of Brooklyn, that I thought KD was trying to “break up” with Kyrie without actually explicitly saying or doing so—in other words, he wants the Nets to do it for him.
My theory was that KD requested the trade out of Brooklyn after Kyrie opted into the last year of his contract with the Nets. Once it was confirmed that Kyrie was staying in Brooklyn another year, KD wanted out. I don’t think that was a coincidence.
Now it’s also possible that KD has lost faith in Steve Nash and Sean Marks. But that doesn’t automatically mean his relationship with Kyrie is in great shape. I think he’s done with all three of them, personally.
Lending credence to the theory that he’s trying to get away from Kyrie is the recent news that he was hanging out with James Harden at a Travis Scott concert—and was seen working out with Harden at a gym in Barcelona, Spain.
It’s just a screenshot of the video but that’s really all you can see. It’s a person speaking Spanish just telling us KD and Harden are the ones on the court, among others.
Okay, why is this so important?
Well, previously it was believed that KD and Harden were not cool with one another. Remember that moment when KD and LeBron were picking their All Star teams, and it came down to Kevin to pick between Harden and Rudy Gobert, and he chose Gobert? Everyone on the show, including LeBron, was laughing because it was obvious that KD didn’t want to pick Harden, who had just been dealt to the 76ers after requesting a trade from KD’s Nets.
It seemed obvious at the time: KD was the main reason the Nets traded for Harden. They gave up a king’s ransom to the Rockets and others in a multi-team deal in order to pair Harden up with KD and Kyrie.
But Harden was out after barely a year. The main reason was that he was frustrated by Kyrie’s unreliability and the fact that Kyrie chose not to be vaccinated even though NYC rules required it.
The thought up until quite recently was that KD sided with Kyrie and felt he was sort of betrayed by Harden. The whole All Star game selection show seemed to reinforce that.
But now we see KD and Harden hanging out and looking like best buddies.
And there are stories reporting the 76ers are among KD’s preferred trade destinations.
So clearly Kevin Durant and James Harden don’t have issues—on or off the court. KD now reportedly wants to join Harden in Philly.
Could it be any more obvious here what’s going on? Harden left Brooklyn for Philly because of Kyrie, and now Kevin Durant wants to do the same.
I don’t think KD will publicly say it’s because of Kyrie, but how can you conclude anything else here?
I’m starting to think KD made that demand for Nets owner Joe Tsai to choose between him and Nash/Marks not because he really wanted it to happen, but because he knew it would never happen, and that the Nets would be forced to trade him by default. Obviously Tsai cannot allow KD to transparently have veto power over the whole Nets basketball operation—he can’t give in to KD’s demands. So the only other option is to trade him.
Again, I think it’s probable that KD wants to get away from Marks/Nash and Kyrie. It doesn’t have to be a one or the other thing.
But it should be obvious by now that KD is trying to get away from Kyrie.
Harden went to Philly because he wanted to get away from Kyrie. Now KD wants to join Harden in Philly? Can it be any more obvious?
Harden didn’t have any real hesitation with letting it be known that he wants nothing to do with Kyrie. But it’s a bit more complicated for Durant, who is—or was, maybe—best friends with Kyrie.
I think, given what I’ve seen of KD and his non-confrontational nature, he’s trying to get away from Kyrie without hurting Kyrie’s feelings, or even letting it be known that he’s trying to get away from Kyrie in the first place. Maybe they’re great buddies still off the court but KD just doesn’t want to be teammates anymore. So he’s making it seem like this is all about Nash and Marks—to make it seem like it’s NOT about Kyrie.
It’s a snaky, underhanded, back-door way of breaking up with someone, for sure. But it also kind of fits with the KD style, at least from the outside looking in.
But maybe Kyrie kind of feels the same. Why didn’t Kyrie publicly request a trade from the Nets when KD did? We all believe Kyrie has requested a trade privately, but to my knowledge there’s never been any public confirmation of that, like a Shams/Woj bomb stating explicitly “Kyrie Irving has demanded a traded.”
If KD and Kyrie are still thick as thieves and KD is only mad at the Nets for how they’ve been treating Kyrie, wouldn’t his trade demand make it clear that he and Kyrie are again a package deal? Wouldn’t he and Kyrie be saying the same things? “Trade BOTH OF US,” “We’d like to go to ____.” Etc.
That’s not how it seems, at least to me. It doesn’t seem like there’s any chance KD and Kyrie get traded to the same team. It seems like KD is going to end up in either Boston or Philly, and Kyrie is going to the Lakers.
But the biggest point about the potential KD trade to Philly is that there’s no chance Kyrie goes there as well. We know Harden doesn’t want to play with Kyrie. So Philly is one team where there’s pretty much zero chance Kyrie gets traded to.
And funny enough, the other team is Boston! Kyrie played there, didn’t get along with anybody on the team, and then left after telling the fans he would re-sign. Boston hates Kyrie probably more than any other player in the league.
So it just so happens that KD’s two most likely trade destinations—Philly and Boston—are also the two teams there’s no chance Kyrie Irving will ever play for.