They talked about one crucial detail: KD’s decision to walk back his offseason trade request and reiterate his commitment to playing with the Nets after the front office couldn’t find a suitable trade to move the former MVP. Since then, Brooklyn has taken over third place in the Eastern Conference playoff picture after reeling off a 12-game winning streak and winning 13 of their last 15 games.
During that same 15-game span, Brooklyn was no. 1 in offense (120.4 and no. 5 in defense (111.3). Durant averaged 29.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game on 59.5 percent shooting from the field and 38.9 percent from beyond the arc. Teammate and close friend Kyrie Irving put up 27.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game while shooting 51.7 percent from the field and 41.5 percent from beyond the arc.
The big-time production has led to Brooklyn becoming an Eastern Conference Finals contender, and the vibes around Barclays Center have been higher than ever. Durant told Friedell that he knew his teammates “enjoy grinding” and that he “had the faith” that his questions about the team practicing harder and paying attention to detail would be answered and that Brooklyn and his teammates understood those are his values as a player.
“I don’t even look at s— that way. My whole thing was like — are we, does the process matter to us? And that’s one thing I did know that people here enjoy, grinding. So that was the most important thing for me. Titles and stuff come with the process in which you — how you prepare. It was more so, “All right, are we going to practice harder? Are we going to pay more attention to detail?”
“Not just everybody else, all of us, me included. Is that going to be preached to us every day? I had the faith that that would happen because I voiced that throughout the summer as well. Even behind the scenes, like, “Yo, this is what I like to do. This is how I like to practice.” I’ve been saying that for the last couple years, so I figured at that point with me going through that, they understood what I value. That’s what I was hanging my hat on, the preparation side of it.”
Brooklyn and Durant will look to get back their winning ways when they play the New Orleans Pelicans (24-14) on the road.
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