Kevin Durant believes Nets roster has ‘a lot of boxes checked’

Kevin Durant’s first contract with the Nets got here recent off tearing his proper Achilles tendon with the Warriors. He limped onto a projected and thrown-together super-team that could possibly be extra formally launched when everybody was wholesome.

With a Kyrie Irving (reportedly unvaccinated) asterisk, the countdown for the launch has begun.

Durant’s second contract with the Nets — a four-year extension worth $198 million inked in August — comes with James Harden as one other operating mate and after a outstanding comeback season that confirmed his legs are below him once more.

“Everybody’s more comfortable in this environment. We’ve been through a season together — even though we were injured, we still traveled together, practiced and were around each other every day,” Durant mentioned at media day at Barclays Heart on Monday.

The brand new and previous additions, such because the out-of-retirement LaMarcus Aldridge, sharpshooter Patty Mills and Blake Griffin, who was re-signed, has Durant assured in regards to the crew’s supporting solid.

“The IQ is pretty high with this group, and it’s just a matter of us actually getting reps in, and we’re looking forward to that,” mentioned the relaxed 32-year-old. “So I think we got a lot of boxes checked. But once we get on the court, I think that’s the final one.”

Final 12 months, he demonstrated that as a maybe once-in-a-lifetime scorer, whose athleticism is unmatched and with a capability to rise above nearly anybody, he could possibly be the identical participant post-surgery. Durant really shot higher than his final season as a Warrior and scored 26.9 factors per recreation on 54 p.c taking pictures.

This summer time, he led Team USA to a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics and broke Carmelo Anthony’s Olympic file for factors scored.

This season, which he enters totally wholesome, how good can he be?

Kevin Durant
Getty Photographs

“I don’t want to predict. I don’t know,” Durant mentioned. “I’m going to keep getting better. You guys have been seeing me for 15 years. You probably can project where I’ll be at the end of the season.”

Griffin known as it a “no-brainer” to return to the Nets.

“It’s not often that you get to play for an organization that you really feel like personally has everything handled from top to bottom,” Griffin mentioned.

Or a company that would put him on the fast-track to a title.

“Obviously, Kevin and Ky won, but most of us have had some individual success but never won a championship,” mentioned Griffin, who has by no means been to a convention finals. “Everyone’s coming together for this common goal.”

Joe Harris
Joe Harris
Corey Sipkin

Joe Harris grew to become a goal of Nets followers’ frustration on the finish of final season, and he understands it’s a part of being an athlete at this time.

Within the Nets’ second-round loss to Milwaukee, he shot 33 percent from deep after main the league from 3-point vary at 47.5 p.c in the course of the season.

He took abuse on social media, which he stays away from. However he couldn’t escape all of the criticism.

“My mom and my sister beat me up pretty good,” Harris mentioned to laughs. “I know that I’m capable of playing better than what I showed at the end of the last postseason.”

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