Nets trade ‘nonsense’ from Kevin Durant has ‘set back NBA players FOR DECADES’, slams Stephen A. Smith

Kevin Durant’s ‘nonsense’ in Brooklyn has ‘set NBA players back FOR DECADES’, slams Stephen A. Smith, as ESPN pundit claims every NBA owner has ‘paid tribute’ to chief of the Nets, Joe Tsai

  • Kevin Durant recently withdrew his Brooklyn Nets trade request
  • The Nets star had demanded a change in coaching and management or be traded
  • Stephen A. Smith said Durant’s right could affect player-owner relationships

The fallout from the Brooklyn Nets’ deal with star Kevin Durant will have ripple effects on the NBA landscape for years to come.

That’s the view of ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith, who discussed the decision on his sports talk show First Take on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Durant agreed to rescind his trade request he made earlier this summer in a bid to remove head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks from their positions.

Durant delivered that request in an ultimatum to Nets owner Joe Tsai, saying that if those layoffs didn’t happen, he’d like to be moved.

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith (pictured) fears Durant's actions will set back the

Kevin Durant will stay with the Brooklyn Nets after dropping his trade request on Wednesday

Stephen A. Smith (right) fears the actions of Kevin Durant (right) could set players back ‘decades’

After trade rumors were raised before dying down, Durant made the decision to stay in New York, just as a four-year contract extension to stay in Brooklyn was about to begin.

Smith, a former NBA insider with ESPN, spoke about the issue with co-host Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and current ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst.

Smith said Durant’s decision will have long-lasting effects on how owners view player demands, contract extensions and collusion for several years.

Durant issued an ultimatum to the front office - fire head coach Steve Nash (left) or lose him

Durant issued an ultimatum to the front office – fire head coach Steve Nash (left) or lose him

“The one thing you can’t tolerate – it’s one of those rare situations…it doesn’t have to be collusion.” This is actually one of those situations. You don’t have to agree. How can you be receptive to paying guys who don’t want to play,’ Smith said.

“You knew you had signed a four-year, $198 million contract extension. And before that contract was ever honored, you asked out. How can you be supportive of that? you don’t need to collude with other owners to rally around – in terms of mindset – and say “enough is enough”.

‘I’m beyond the days I gotta be (the NBA) beating the way [Windhorst] done, so I’m going to refer to my buddy happily, because he’s doing a great job covering the NBA…and he knows what he’s talking about. But he knows I’m right when I say that. I have never seen such enthusiastic owners.

Nets owner Joe Tsai (center) keeps Durant in Brooklyn after rumor-filled summer

Nets owner Joe Tsai (center) keeps Durant in Brooklyn after rumor-filled summer

‘They are fed up with. What happened in Brooklyn alone is enough to set NBA players back decades. This is the kind of damage that this nonsense has caused.

“So to let them off the hook this time, it couldn’t happen. It couldn’t happen, because if it did, it would have changed the course of (player) empowerment forever.

“Empowerment, people don’t have a problem with… entitlement, that’s what they have a problem with.” It was confusing, and that’s why Joe Tsai took that position. Because every owner I know – unsolicited – has said kudos to him. And they mean it.

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