These past few weeks, they’ve been dragging and now they’re on the rise, becoming relevant in the Eastern Conference. But Kevin Durant You notice the lack of attention your computer has received.
“I understand that other people don’t see our roster as a champion roster, but when we get wins the way we get wins, you have to pay attention to that,” Durant told Yahoo Sports. “When Kai [Kyrie Irving] and good [Simmons] did not play, we beat the teams by [nearly] 40 points Every other team, it’s, ‘Wait, what are they doing there?’
“They take us for granted, Kai and me especially. We have to jump through a fiery Hula-Hoop to be impressed.”
Durant says that New York culture is generally negative, so he kind of expects it.
“Is ‘beautify’ the right word? You all do that because it’s New York City,” Durant said. “Only the general media in New York City feeds the fans and the fans like negative shit. They’re used to teams not playing well over the years, so they just accept the drama.
“So when drama comes up, it’s a normal feeling. That’s New York culture for the last 50 years in sports. I feel like [NBA] the culture is starting to change that way now, but it’s always been that way in New York.”
He’s a bit heavier in New York, which Durant knew before he drafted the Nets in the summer of 2019. Irving has always been a lightning rod for criticism because he seems to invite and incite it, at times.
Over his last 10 games, he’s been at a pace that rivals some of his best work, averaging 32.7 points on 63% shooting, 44% from 3-point range, and adding 6.5 rebounds and five assists per game.
The Nets have rebounded from the ashes of a coaching change and Irving-fueled controversy to climb to fourth in the East, winning 10 of 11 with only a Dec. 4 loss to the Nets. celts to prevent them from having the longest winning streak in the NBA.
Maybe the change of coach of Steve Nash a jacque vaughn has simplified things. Perhaps it’s also a function of the schedule, as a large part of it has been home games against less-than-stellar competition.
“We understand what we are doing on both ends. It’s that simple,” Durant said when asked what was working. “We know what kind of defense we want to play, what kind of offense we want to run. And that makes everyone feel more comfortable.
“I see it simple: we get up every day, we are healthy for the most part. And we shred. So whatever comes of it, we accept it. We are putting the right foot forward to go out there and be a team. we are not where [we] I want to be, but I like the direction we’re in.”
On Sunday, Durant scored 26 in the third quarter, including a furious run of 20 points in a three-minute span to pull the Nets from a 17-point deficit by surprising distance. On any given night he still rivals Giannis Antetokounmpo Y Stephen Curry and anyone else as the best player in the game.
The Nets’ recent history of drama and underachievement means the bar is set higher, which he somewhat understands, but notes the treatment everyone else is getting.
“I don’t see that standard for other teams,” Durant said. “I don’t see the standard for guys who didn’t really have the circumstances that we did: injuries, $50 million in salary not playing last year.
“We don’t have that grace. But we have to play through everything. With other teams, they get some of that grace, but I understand we haven’t earned it yet. We have to work for that.”
The Irving drama, the Simmons saga and the situation surrounding Nash seemed to drag on over the summer and into the early parts of the season. The feeling that this team was a nasty bunch seemed to be validated.
“People don’t like us,” Durant said. “No, they do not do it [like me]. They don’t like us as a group.”
Durant understands where he’s coming from. He doesn’t complain or complain, he just points to things as he sees them, as someone who has been through this NBA ecosystem for the better part of 15 years.
He knows that being with Irving adds its own layer of complications, even saying, “Obviously, I didn’t like that he wasn’t in the lineup last year,” referring to Irving not being eligible to play at home in New York because was not vaccinated.
“On the court, he’s remarkable, like a Hall of Fame God level. You see how he scores, how he makes plays,” Durant said. “Just the fact that your choices and your personal life, how you feel about s***, that’s what people have. [problem] with. But now that he’s playing and he’s here constantly, that hasn’t been a conversation around anything.”
For Durant, the game has been his obsession and his refuge. Much of his complaints with the media have been about minimizing basketball in favor of other controversies.
Unfortunately, that’s not how it all works, especially in the world of Twitter and the other world where basketball players get paid more than handsomely because the line goes beyond the floor and into their personal bests.
You are bound to cross lines; is bound to cause friction.
“When we hit the ground, we can’t control all the narratives and the noise around us,” Durant said. “When we enter the facility, I don’t feel like it’s a burden on us. I did not feel the [Irving] Shit after a while because we’re in lockdown, trying to get better.”
Perhaps he’s used to dysfunction, a notion he coolly denied, it all has to be said. Durant is sometimes seen as a victim of Irving’s antics, an innocent bystander. But it seems that he doesn’t like that label either.
“I understand [attention], it’s part of the job,” Durant said. “In terms of how I felt, it was not a burden on me. Shit happens. Everybody [has] been through some shit in the league.”
He still feels like he’s building something in New York, in Brooklyn. And when asked if he felt the Nets needed more on the roster to compete with Boston and Milwaukee, he didn’t flinch.
“I feel like we have a good roster. I feel like we’re striving to play playoff-style basketball,” Durant said. “I think you have guys that can play in different ways. So yes, we can win basketball games, in a nutshell. If we do that every day and start building, we’ll see what happens in the playoffs.”