NEW YORK — How best to sum up a contract battle, a failed sign-and-trade, a franchise player’s trade request and ensuing ultimatum that the team clean house by firing the coach and GM?
In Kyrie Irving’s words: “It was a cluster—-.”
On Monday, the Nets held their media day, with general manager Sean Marks, coach Steve Nash and their star players all breaking their silence for the first time since May. The day had the potential to get wild but instead went on in a civil manner. Emotions stayed in check. Nothing was denied and the organization turned the page on Durant’s trade request, Irving’s contract negotiations, Durant’s ultimatum that Nash and Marks be fired and Durant’s decision to return.
Irving’s answer was spot-on. In May, Marks talked about resetting the culture after a tumultuous year. Instead, it went up in flames. When the smoke cleared, everyone remained in their previous role, giving Brooklyn one of the deepest rosters in the NBA.
“Families go through things like this,” Nash said. “Go through adversity, go through disagreements. This is not new to the NBA. It has happened dozens of times; I’m sure every organization has faced that. So, you know, it’s a part of the process. It’s a part of working in this business. It’s super competitive. We’re all proud. We all have expectations, and when we get dinged up like we did last year, you know, everyone’s disappointed. … We cleared the air and we spoke and we got on the same page.”
Durant tipped off media day and walked reporters through the reasoning behind his trade request.