- Publish Date
- Wednesday, 10 August 2022, 7:00AM
NBA superstar Kevin Durant reportedly wants the Brooklyn Nets to fire the team's Kiwi general manager Sean Marks.
According to The Athletic, Durant reiterated his desire for a trade from the Nets to team owner Joe Tsai and delivered an ultimatum over the team's leadership.
Tsai was reportedly told that he has to choose between Durant or the pairing of general manager Marks, who is a New Zealander, and coach Steve Nash, with the star forward saying he has concerns about the team's direction under the duo.
The New York Post reports that a source said Durant wasn't the only Nets star to be unhappy with the leadership of the team.
"Kyrie Irving hates these guys," the source reportedly said. "He feels that Nash is terrible and Marks is bad.
"KD came to the same conclusion."
Tsai tweeted this week: "Our front office and coaching staff have my support. We will make decisions in the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets."
This is the latest phase of a saga that began in June, when Durant told the Nets he wanted a trade just as this summer's free agent period was beginning.
Durant isn't a free agent; he has four years and $198 million remaining on his contract with the Nets, who will undoubtedly demand a haul of players and draft picks in any trade agreement for the 12-time All-Star, four-time scoring champion, three-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time NBA champion.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has never been a fan of trade demands going public.
"This needs to be a two-way street," Silver said last month.
"Teams provide enormous security and guarantees to players and the expectation is, in return, they will meet their end of the bargain.
"I'm realistic that there's always conversations that are going to go on behind closed doors between players and their representatives and the teams.
"But we don't like to see players requesting trades, and we don't like to see it playing out the way it is."
The Nets are coming off a disappointing NBA season, where Irving, who is unvaccinated against Covid-19, was not allowed to play until December last year and then mainly played in away games, due to New York state laws.
The other member of the so-called big three, James Harden, also forced his way out of the team and was traded for Ben Simmons, who has yet to step foot on the court for the Nets due to injury.
The Nets were eventually swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.
After the poor showing, Marks said the team's culture "isn't what it quite was" and admitted it was his and Nash's "job to pick that up".
Marks was the first Kiwi to play in the NBA, winning two championships with the San Antonio Spurs - one as a player and one as an assistant coach. He has been the Nets' GM since 2016.
Durant has spent three seasons with Brooklyn, not playing in the first of those years while he recovered from a torn Achilles. He averaged 29.9 points in 55 games last season, after leading the US to Olympic gold at the Tokyo Games last year.
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission
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