Kevin Durant shook up the basketball world when he announced his signing to the Brooklyn Nets. Durant would join New Jersey native, Kyrie Irving, in Brooklyn after numerous speculations where the two all-stars would end up.
According to Sports Illustrated, June 30 was a nervous day for Nets General Manager (GM) Sean Marks. Marks had met with Kyrie Irving prior to free agency and Irving expressed his excitement of coming back home. The Nets called New Jersey their home for the majority of the franchise’s existence.
The NBA Free Agency period would officially start at 6 pm on Sunday, June 30. Just before 5 pm, it was reported that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving would sign to the Nets, although KD gave no confirmation to Marks and the Nets front office.
“It wasn’t until an Instagram post an hour later confirmed Durant’s intentions that Marks fully believed KD was coming,” said Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. Marks described the moment as something that “sent a shock wave through everyone.”
It is an extremely rare case that an athlete doesn’t alert a team prior to signing but KD set that new precedent. The NBA Players Association has made it clear that they control their own destinies and are at the helm of athletes control in sports. This stems from LeBron James’ big decision to “take his talents to South Beach” in the Summer of 2010. Since then players have been led to follow whatever decision brings them the most successful results for their basketball and financial careers. Now Kevin Durant is letting the world know he is in control after a successful run but tumultuous ending in a Golden State Warriors uniform.