If there’s one thing we have learned about Brooklyn Nets star small forward Kevin Durant, it’s that he doesn’t like it when media members make up stories about him. The two-time Finals MVP also isn’t shy about ripping those reporters on social media and calling them out for their nonsense.
A few weeks ago, Durant destroyed former NBA guard and current ESPN analyst Jay Williams. The Duke product said on ESPN radio that KD told him to never compare Milwaukee Bucks swingman Giannis Antetokounmpo to him. The Nets superstar claimed he never told Williams that.
Durant, who has a lot of time on his hands after the Nets lost to the Bucks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, is now going after well-known journalist Jackie MacMullan, who isn’t on Twitter but wasn’t able to escape Durant’s wrath.
Kevin Durant calls out Jackie MacMullan
MacMullan said Durant’s genuine goal is to win three championships with the Nets on a recent podcast. Once he saw the quote on Twitter, the 11-time All-Star fired back at the ESPN columnist and said they are not friends.
“Once again, I don’t even talk like this,” Durant wrote on Twitter. “Plus I don’t have a relationship with Jackie for us to have in depth conversations about my intentions as a basketball player. I get she plays an opinion based sport but she framed this like we are friends. We are not.”
As part of a sign-and-trade deal with the Golden State Warriors, Durant signed a four-year, $164.3 million contract with the Nets in the summer of 2019. He missed the entire 2019-20 season recovering from his Achilles tear but was sensational in 2020-21. The 2013-14 MVP averaged 26.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 5.6 assists in 35 games.
Durant will make $40.9 million in 2021-22 and has a player option worth $42.8 million for the 2022-23 season. If he declines the player option, the four-time scoring champion will become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason of 2022. Durant could hypothetically leave the Nets as a free agent if the franchise doesn’t have success in the postseason moving forward, but no one in Brooklyn wants to think about that occurring.
While he likely wants to win multiple championships with the Nets, Durant is displeased that a veteran reporter such as MacMullan is putting words in his mouth. We are starting to see players take control of their narrative, with Durant leading the charge.
Kevin Durant may not like Jackie MacMullan after what she said to Kyrie Irving
Durant and Nets guard Kyrie Irving are said to be best friends, which means the former may not be happy with MacMullan since she once told the latter that he’s property. The ESPN scribe suggested she views professional basketball players as the “property” of the teams they play for when she was on the Ryen Russillo Podcast.
“I was thinking of all the conversations I’ve had with Kyrie over the years,” MacMullan said, via Audacy. “One of them I had, I don’t know, two years ago, we got into this argument about, you know, something, and he’s like, ‘Well, there shouldn’t be an NBA Draft. Players should be able to go wherever they want to go. We’re not someone’s property.’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, you are, dude, that’s the way it works. That’s why you get paid all these millions.'”
It’s safe to assume that Durant saw this quote from MacMullan since he’s active on Twitter. It could be one of the reasons why he’s not friends with the ESPN pundit and called her out for her comment about him wanting to win three rings with the Nets.
How many titles will KD win with the Nets?
Many NBA pundits thought Durant and the Nets would win the title this season after the James Harden trade. However, both Irving and Harden got injured in the playoffs, putting too much of a scoring burden on Durant.
Despite averaging 34.3 points in the 2021 postseason, Durant couldn’t lead the Nets past the Bucks. Now, he’s under immense pressure to win the championship next season since he’ll have a full campaign of Harden by his side. If Durant, Harden, and Irving remain healthy for the full season, the Nets should be the favorite to win the title.
However, general manager Sean Marks has some work to do this offseason. It’s evident the current roster doesn’t have enough interior scoring or defense, and Spencer Dinwiddie and Blake Griffin will become unrestricted free agents.
With that said, it’s still up in the air how many rings Durant can win in Brooklyn. He proved this season he’s fully recovered from his Achilles injury, so future title hopes are dependent on Irving and Harden’s health and the roster construction around the Big 3.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.