What did Nets HC Steve Nash say about his relationship with star Kevin Durant?
Though doubts will surely continue, the Nets seem to be holding to the narrative that all is well in their camp. Now, we can only wait and see.
With the worst of it seemingly behind us, more details continue to come out surrounding the standoff that occurred between the Nets and their star.
Nets’ Steve Nash says all is “fine” with Kevin Durant
According to Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash’s comments on Tuesday, the relationship between him and superstar Kevin Durant is just “fine.” With training camp now underway, Nash doubled down on the view he gave during media day on Monday. If you missed it, Nash previously explained that they had moved past Durant’s trade request and the subsequent feud that ensued as a result of it. This is especially significant, because at the time reports suggested that Durant had given a “me or them” ultimatum to owner Joe Tsai regarding Nash and GM Sean Marks.
“Knowing Kevin as long as I have, it didn’t really bother me the way maybe everyone would think,” Nash said. “That’s a part of being competitors. I wasn’t overly surprised and I wasn’t even overly concerned. It was something that I thought we would address in time, and we did. And here we are and we’re looking forward. It’s something else that we can grow from as well.” Nash also went on to address Durant’s ultimatum in greater detail. “I never thought that was 100 percent. It’s not black and white like that. There’s a lot of factors, a lot of things behind the scenes.” What’s interesting here, is that Nash in no way disputed what Durant reportedly asked for. “...A lot of things that are reported are not 100 percent accurate, so you get fragmented bits of truth, you get things that are flat-out not true.”
What was Steve Nash’s response to the alleged ‘ultimatum?’
To be fair, the scenario Nash described when learning of Durant’s reported request isn’t hard to imagine. Indeed, the former Spurs star and league MVP turned coach, is known for his calm demeanor. “Work through it step by step” is how Nash described his approach to the situation, when learning of Durant’s request. “...It was never really as big a deal to me. Ever since we talked, it’s been like nothing’s changed,” Nash said. “I have a long history with Kevin. Love the guy. Families have issues. We had a moment and it’s behind us. That’s what happens. It’s a common situation in the league.”
Nets’ Markieff Morris weighs
While the temptation to take Nash’s words with a pinch of salt is understandable, it has to be said that the endorsement of other players on the roster certainly helps in terms of painting a more positive picture. Such was the case with veteran center Markieff Morris, who also made it clear that he believes the Nets can move forward from the turmoil surrounding their star during this past offseason. “That’s the NBA, man,” Morris said. “You break up with a girlfriend, you get back with her. Same shit. Same shit. You have your differences until you figure it out.”
Morris didn’t stop there either. Curiously, the big man went on to use experience from his own personal life as a reference. “Yeah,” Morris said. “I mean, I broke up with my wife a couple of times. We still married. This shit works. It’s just times you need space to figure some things out. This shit works. It is what it is.” Even more interesting, was Morris’ endorsement of Durant’s view that the Nets didn’t fight hard enough when the going got tough. “I agree with what he said,” Morris said. “They were soft. point blank period. When [Miami] played up against ‘em, they were soft. Just go right in their chest. That’s what we did.”
Nash vs Durant or Lack of Fight vs Circumstances?
If you’ve been paying attention, you will recall that on Monday Durant said that Nash “agreed with me” in reference to the idea of a lack of fight on the part of the Nets. On the other hand, it’s worth noting that Nash’s explanation for the Nets’ failure this last season was largely based on the idea that the lack of fight stemmed from the team not being positioned to fight. “We had a group of guys that were playing way outside of what their roles should be,” Nash said. “So, we knew going into that period we’re not going to win many games here. So, a big part of it is giving those guys safety, reward, pushing them to continue to try to do the right things. But when you’re playing three or four non-shooters, most teams have one or none on the floor. And there’s challenges and we knew that and could see that coming.”
This is an intriguing difference of opinion, in that both are correct, but one view is based more in the short term while the other in the long. Can you guess which is which? Regardless, Nash also raised another interesting point and that was the franchise’s ability to keep the team cohesive. “...Huge win that we didn’t come apart as a team. ...A lot of teams implode when they go through that situation.” Whether he’s right or wrong, the reality is that by the time they were swept by the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs, they were playing without two of their best four players. “We went through a lot of stuff,” Nash said. “So, you have to have perspective as well. So, you can’t just overreact and I think sometimes we, as competitors, lose sight of perspective because all we care about is winning.”