Brooklyn Nets: Kevin Durant Buys 5% Ownership in MLS Team Philadelphia Union

Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets

Kevin Durant is a 2x NBA Champion, 10x NBA All Star, one of the most dangerous scorers of all-time, and now, a part owner of the Philadelphia Union. Durant purchased a 5% ownership stake in the club, with possibility to add another 5% in the future. For those unfamiliar with the Union, they are Philly’s official MLS team.  The Union were added to the MLS in 2010 as an expansion team and plays their home matches at Subaru Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. The club officially announced their partnership with Kevin Durant on Twitter earlier today in a series of several tweets:

Durant also tweeted his excitement to join the Philadelphia Union ownership team.

 

KD has had an interesting (and somewhat scary) last few months. After rehabbing for the majority of the year from his Achilles Tendon injury suffered in last year’s NBA championship, Durant was one of several Nets diagnosed with COVID-19 shortly after the season was suspended in March. Thankfully, KD and the other players infected were able to recover 100% from the virus.

In the last few weeks, many fans and members of the media began speculating whether Durant would return to the court when the NBA resumes play in late July. Durant set the record straight in an https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js“>interview with Marc Spears earlier this month, stating he has no intentions to play basketball until next season.

With Durant’s basketball return set in stone for next season, it seems he has been mainly focusing on building his off-the-court business, and who could blame him? Durant has already acted in the movie “Thunderstruck,” is heavily involved with Thirty Five Media and their show, “The Boardroom,” and has endorsement deals with Nike, Sprint, Gatorade, Panini, General Electric, and 2K Sports. Now that he has added “owner of a professional sports team” to his list of accomplishments, I am sure he is already focusing on his next big off-the-court endeavor.

Nets’ Kyrie Irving leads inspiring phone call to question NBA’s plan for return

Brooklyn Nets, Kyrie Irving

On Friday evening, Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving led a conference-call of 80+ NBA and WNBA players about potentially not playing again this season. These would be due to the coronavirus risks and to protest the racial injustices taking place in the United States

“I don’t support going into Orlando,” said Irving on the call. “I’m not with the systematic racism and the bulls**t. Something smells a little fishy.”

Sources say that other outspoken players included Carmelo Anthony of the Trailblazers and Chris Paul of the Thunder. The WNBA players in the call are reportedly willing to back the NBA players and follow suit in their league. The WNBA just submitted a return to play proposal to the players, entailing a 22-game season with full pay.

“I’m willing to give up everything I have (for social reform),” added Irving in the call.

From what sources have heard, a lot of players respect Irving for this and would potentially follow suit and sit out. One player told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that “he’s trying to give players a platform to be able to have a discussion — on the bubble, racial equality and unity…It’s a good call.”

Throughout the past week, the NBA was finalizing their plans to return to play at Disney World in Orlando. But with the racial injustices and rising coronavirus cases in Florida, players are having second thoughts. If players ultimately decide that they do not want to play the rest of the season, then the season would just be outright canceled. From there, we would likely see a somewhat normal offseason, but we aren’t to that point yet.

Brooklyn Nets: Rest of Season will not include Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets

Since the NBA season was suspended in mid-March, one of the hottest trending topics for NBA fans to debate has been the return of Kevin Durant. Many predicted that due to the added break in time during the suspended season, that both Durant and Kyrie would be able to finish their rehab and contribute when the season resumed. Unfortunately, this narrative was shared by the majority of #NetsTwitter, only to be let down when Anthony “Pooch” Puccio of NetsDaily when he tweeted the following:

This news was confirmed hours later by Marc J. Spears, who posted an interview with Kevin Durant that he had conducted on The Undefeated. When asked about if he would be playing for the Nets in Orlando when the season returns, Durant responded by saying “My season is over. I don’t plan on playing at all. We decided last season when it first happened that I was just going to wait until the following season. I had no plans of playing at all this season.” You can read the whole interview below:

As for Durant’s teammate Kyrie Irving, news surfaced yesterday regarding his status as well. Irving is interested in traveling with the Nets to Orlando, he just won’t be in uniform. Woj reported the following on Irving’s status:

So no Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving when the NBA resumes play in August. We will ride with our Spencer Dindwiddie & Caris Levert led team, who happened to finish the season on a hot streak with interim Head coach Jacque Vaughn.

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Former GM Rod Thorn Blames end of Nets Eastern Conference Dominance on not resigning Kenyon Martin

Many people come to mind when Nets fans reminisce over the early 2000s teams that went to two straight finals in 2002 and 2003. Jason Kidd, Kerry Kittles, Keith Van Horn, Byron Scott, and Richard Jefferson are among some of those names. One name every Nets fan will forever remember was the energetic, undersized yet effective power forward, Kenyon Martin. “K-Mart,” who only ended up playing 4 seasons with the Nets, was undoubtedly their second most important player during those two runs to the NBA Finals. Martin was the #1 selection in the 2000 draft by the New Jersey Nets, which also happened to be the first draft of Rod Thorn’s with the franchise. It has been 20 years since that draft, and Thorn believes the Nets lost their Eastern Conference Crown when they failed to resign Jason Kidd’s favorite alley-oop partner, Kenyon Martin.

Thorn Shares Thoughts on What Led to Nets Demise in Recent Interview with Ian Eagle

Thorn, a legend most notably recognized for drafting arguably the greatest player of all in Michael Jordan during the 1984 draft, turned the Nets from a joke to one of the most dangerous teams in the East with only a few draft picks and several roster moves. Outside of trading for Jason Kidd, who quickly became the leader and best player on the Nets, Thorn’s second-biggest move was drafting Kenyon Martin.

K-Mart’s numbers never jumped off the sheet. In 4 years with NJ, he averaged a respectable 15.1 ppg and 7.6 RPG. At 6’9, he was undersized for the power forward position but prided himself on being the most energetic player on the floor at all times. Hustling for loose balls, throwing down high-flying alley-oops from Jason Kidd, and scoring on second-chance opportunities were several of Martin’s strengths. Pair his energy and ability to get out in transition with an all-time distributor in Jason Kidd, and what we received on the court was some of the best basketball in the history of the New Jersey Nets franchise. To refresh your memory of just how ferocious a player Martin was, here are several highlights from his days with the Nets:

When asked by Ian Eagle about Kenyon Martin, Thorn had this to say: “We were never the same after Kenyon left. We never replaced him while I was there. Tremendous heart gave it his all, run the court, was great playing with Jason. A little undersized for Tim Duncan, but did a great job for us, loved it.” After the 03 seasons, Martin would play one more season with the Nets before eventually agreeing to a sign-and-trade with the Denver Nuggets. According to an interview by Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson in 2018, Martin claims the Nets never offered him a contract after the 2004 season, forcing him to agree to a sign-and-trade with Denver for a lucrative seven-year $92.5M dollar contract.

Unfortunately, we all know how this story played out. Martin left after the 03-04 season, the Nets traded for Vince Carter to take over as the primary scorer, and while the pairing of Carter and Kidd were sensational together for several years, they never peaked quite as hard as the early 2000s Nets teams did. Nets fans will forever be grateful for Rod Thorn turning around the franchise in trading for HOF point guard Jason Kidd and drafting significant pieces in Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson. But one could only wonder, what if the Nets had resigned K-Mart after that 03-04 season and continued to build off the Kidd/Martin/Jefferson trio? Could we have potentially returned to an NBA final if we ever found the right Center to pair with those three? These are the types of questions that have kept Nets fans up for the past 15 years, including me.

Brooklyn Nets: Get Bradley Beal at all Costs

New York Knicks, Marcus Morris

Flashback seven years ago, the newly located Brooklyn Nets are stuck as a second-tier team. Led by Deron Williams and Brook Lopez, the options are clear: make a push for a championship that mortgages the future or tear down the roster and rebuild with a stockpile of assets. On draft night in June 2013, the front office made their choice. In a trade that has haunted the franchise for the majority of the decade, the Nets acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, two pieces they hoped would catapult them into real contenders. 

After recent reports surfaced Thursday that the Nets have interest in adding star Bradley Beal to the fold, deja vu struck in the minds of many Nets fans. Just as the Nets quickly built a contender in 2012, they have done so again. As Williams and Lopez were exiting their primes, the team attempted to surround them with a desperate accumulation of talent. Durant and Irving may have already seen their best days, but that is where the similarities end. They represent a higher class of superstardom, one that can objectively compete against the most high-profile names in the league. Adding a superstar entering his prime would fuel a championship run without stripping the franchise of all future assets. 

When it comes to perfect additions for this complicated Nets roster, it doesn’t get more seamless than Beal. His immense versatility would allow him to fit in next to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in a way that most stars would not be able to. 

“I can put him in any situation, and he understands it at a high level,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “I can use him as a decoy, and he understands why I’m using him as a decoy. I can use him in pick and rolls and pin downs and in the post.” 

Playing with two superstars who can break down any defense would offer Beal more open three-pointers than he’s seen at any other point in his career. As a 38% three-point shooter over the course of his eight-year career, he also presents a perimeter reputation that would open up lanes for Durant and Irving to get the rim without the worry of help coming off of the shooters. With Durant coming off a major Achilles injury and Irving dealing with several maladies in previous seasons, Beal would provide necessary durability to a roster lacking in it. He hasn’t missed a game in the previous three seasons, proving to be one of the most dependable stars the league has, especially in the era of player preservation. This would afford Durant and Irving the ability to play relaxed with less of an onus on scoring, which would limit the wear and tear of a grueling NBA season as they geared up toward a run at a championship. Beal’s ability to come off screens and dribble handoffs as a scoring threat would make him a perfect partner with Deandre Jordan, a big-bodied screener who excels with playmaking guards as an explosive roll man to keep the defense honest. 

The big concern out of Brooklyn is the fragility of their two superstars, who are constantly in the headlines for the wrong reasons. It would behoove Sean Marks to add a star with a stabilizing personality to the mix. 

When asked about his relationship with Beal, Wizards co-star John Wall said “We’re just building a bond. We always joke and have fun. We play cards on the plane with each other. All that stuff equaled up to us making a better bond. We never disliked each other. There are times on the court where you are going to dislike a player. You want the ball. They want the ball”

The fight Beal displays on the court indicate a level of competitiveness that carries teams to basketball glory. A desire to win games and compete as well as capable drives the great ones. As Wall stated clearly, Beal is an excellent teammate both on and off the court. 

Parting with Caris Levert, Spencer Dinwiddie and Jarrett Allen may seem like a tough ask for the Brooklyn Nets front office, but consider this: when envisioning the Nets lineup closing out games, which of these guys do you want out on the floor? Dinwiddie struggled mightily when paired with D’Angelo Russell last season and with Kyrie Irving this season. Without the ball in his hands, he provides little in the way of positive value on the court. He isn’t a particularly strong defender or spot-up shooter, making him a less than ideal fit in a closing lineup where he won’t have the ball in his hands. Levert has flashed glimpses of greatness for the entirety of his career, but injuries and an inconsistent jump shot have hindered his development. His lack of a consistent long-range shot would allow defenses to focus on Durant and Irving driving to the hoop, clogging the lane, and leaving them little opportunity to score at the rim. Allen’s inability to develop a consistent offensive game makes him a trade piece for the Nets. His benching in early March, in the first game after Kenny Atkinson was fired, was an indication about how the coaching staff and stars on the team felt about his value. Since his rookie year he has been a rim-running center who can protect the rim on defense but does not provide much else. While he is a solid big man for any rotation, this makes him expendable. At just 26 years old and now entering his prime, Beal himself would account for the lost young talent it would take to acquire him in a deal.

With Beal added to the fold, the Brooklyn Nets would become instant title favorites. Possessing three superstars in a league that is currently controlled by duos would give the Nets a considerable edge to close out games. Putting out Irving, Beal, and Durant to pair with sharpshooter Joe Harris would give the Brooklyn Nets a fearsome foursome that would compliment each other’s skillsets perfectly. Beal would add overwhelming talent for a Nets team that is looking to win their first NBA championship while leading the franchise for years to come. If the Wizards make Bradley Beal available in trade discussions, the Nets should engage immediately, no matter the cost.

Brooklyn Nets: Sources believe Nets Internally Discussing Trade Options for Bradley Beal

For many weeks, the rumor among Brooklyn Nets fans has been the possibility of the Brooklyn franchise bringing in a 3rd star to accompany Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. On Thursday afternoon, those rumors were confirmed by Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News in the following tweet/article:

Beal has proved to be one of the league’s most efficient scorers, especially in this most recent season without his usual running mate John Wall. Although he was snubbed from the all-star team this year due to the Wizards abysmal record, Beal was averaging a career-best 30.5 ppg on 52% from the field before the season was suspended. From an offensive standpoint, Beal would be an improvement over the young Caris LeVert and create a dynamic trio of professional shot makers in Brooklyn’s starting lineup. As an undersized 2 guard, the only critique on Beal has been his defense. Beal found himself having to defend his play on the defensive end this year after being called out by several in the media as one of the worst defenders in the NBA.

3 Factors to Consider in a Beal to Brooklyn Trade

Obviously there are several variables to consider during these discussions regarding how this trade can happen. For one, would the Washington Wizards be willing to part with Beal? He has said in the past that he would like to retire a Wizard and has a great relationship with the city of Washington D.C. He even gets along great with his co-star John Wall. But with the Wizards struggling mightily in recent years, it seems that this would be the perfect time for the team to acquire assets and get younger. Moving Beal makes sense from the Wizards perspective, assuming they don’t believe they can keep trying to build around John Wall and Bradley Beal to create a championship contender.

Two, how much do the Nets really want to give up for a Beal? Is Sean Marks willing to part with young talents such as Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen? Would Spencer Dinwiddie be involved? How many draft picks would Brooklyn be willing to give up? Sean Marks has to ask himself if he’s willing to mortgage the future of the franchise in order to acquire a player who he believes will get Brooklyn closer to a championship. It’s going to cost the Nets regardless since Beal will be in the 2nd year of a $72 million dollar deal. Hopefully, Marks can find a way to trade for Beal without giving away the farm.

And finally, does Bradley Beal want to play in Brooklyn? As the 1b to Wall’s 1a, Beal will have to accept the “Chris Bosh” role in this potential Big 3 with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the lineup. If Beal is willing to sacrifice some of his offensive production, be the 3rd cog in the system, and improve on defense, he will no doubt be an excellent fit on this team.

It will be extremely interesting to see how this plays out. Marks has been an aggressive GM for Brooklyn thus far and it has paid off. A deal of this magnitude could make or break the next five years for the Brooklyn Nets. Will Marks be willing to make the sacrifice to acquire Beal? Beal is no doubt a great player but does trading for him make Brooklyn a title contender? All I know is there has never been and will never be a professional sports league with more drama than the NBA. That’s why the NBA is often televised on TNT…their tagline is “We Know Drama.”

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Brooklyn Nets: Spencer Dinwiddie Defends Himself against Twitter Troll

Brooklyn Nets, Spencer Dinwiddie

Twitter is an amazing place. Fans can interact with players and players can speak their minds to fans on a daily basis. Sometimes the interactions are pleasant and positive, other times players feel the need to defend themselves against the “haters.” The more a player tends to speak out and be active on social media, the more haters they seem to have. Spencer Dinwiddie, one of the most active Brooklyn Nets on Twitter, is a veteran when it comes to dealing with the “haters” on Twitter.

After a bizarre video of Mitchell Robinson putting on a dribbling clinic and drilling a jumper in a 2 on 2 scrimmage went viral, many Knicks fans were impressed with the young big man’s skills. Spencer Dinwiddie decided to address what many were thinking in a tweet responding to the video of Robinson.

As talented as Robinson is, Dinwiddie was 100% correct in his observation here. Unfortunately, @DaRealBootum chose this opportunity to take a shot at our “Tech Guy with a Jumper.”

Bootum even included a two-minute montage of Dinwiddie’s step-back misses illustrating his point. Very strange, specific area to attack Dinwiddie. I would assume most who attempt stepback jumpers don’t have high percentages. Dinwiddie perceived Bootum’s comment to be slight at his clutch gene and responded appropriately:

After reading Dinwiddie’s tweet, I decided to post a tweet of my own from the Fireside Nets account explaining just how spot on I thought Dinwiddie was in defending himself.

The perfect breakdown as to why Dinwiddie is CLUTCH and shouldn’t take trash from anybody trying to point out his misses. And clearly, Dinwiddie agreed with my explanation. Not only did he favorite the tweet, Dinwiddie responded to my tweet immediately afterward!

Just another day in the Twitter life of Spencer Dinwiddie. Now, let’s enjoy these videos of Dinwiddie hitting game-winners and laugh at those on Twitter that try to hate on him.

 

 

 

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Brooklyn Nets: An Eventful Recap of the Week

Brooklyn Nets, Kyrie Irving

Since the quarantine has began, there have been many non-eventful weeks for your Brooklyn Nets. This was not one of those weeks. We now have a full Spencer Dinwiddie controversy on our hands, our former point guard taking shots at our former coach, and two Nets players attending a virtual strip club together. Let’s get into it!

Spencer Dinwiddie Creates Pandemonium Among Nets Fan with new Proposal

Dinwiddie is no stranger to stirring the pot on Twitter. Last month, he joked about being a player/GM for the Chicago Bulls to fix their franchise. This week, he seems to be a bit more serious about his impending free agency and assumed exit out of Brooklyn. Dinwiddie has been tweeting a storm recently about fans choosing Dinwiddie’s next destination by donating in Bitcoin to reach a target goal of about $24 million. While most have no idea of the legality of his plan or if the team that wins the fan auction would even want Dinwiddie’s services, Nets fans have taken to Twitter to express their disappointment in the point guard’s recent actions. Here are several fans reacting to Dinwiddie’s recent proposal:

It seems as though Dinwiddie’s days with the Nets are numbered. General Manager Sean Marks cannot like what he sees from Dinwiddie, who more often than not recently, has seemed to make the story about him.

D’Angelo Russell Takes Shot at Former Nets HC Kenny Atkinson

Maybe even more shocking than Dinwiddie’s Bitcoin proposition is the recent revelation from former fan favorite D’Angelo Russell, who had some very interesting things to say about his former coach Kenny Atkinson. Many fans assumed he two had a decent relationship, based on their shared success in the 2019 season. Apparently, that might not have been the case.

Russell was recently interviewed by the Athletic and was asked as to why Atkinson did receive enough credit for the Nets making the playoffs in 2019. DLo told The Athletic, “I’m not going to give it to Kenny. I still don’t think he knew what he had, honestly. I don’t think he knew what I was capable of in the fourth quarter.” (Full article here) Russell was electric that year for the Nets, but there were moments throughout the season that it seemed like he could have been playing more down the stretch. Clearly, Atkinson’s usage of Russell still bothers him to this day and it seems as though these two won’t be getting together for a friendly dinner anytime soon.

Kevin Durant and Caris Levert Allegedly Attend Virtual Strip Club Together

According to TMZ, Demon Time, the “most popular digital strip club,” has partnered with OnlyFans after becoming too raunchy for Instagram Live. Who would be interested in a virtual strip club experience you ask? Apparently Brooklyn Nets Kevin Durant and Caris Levert are! The two, along with several other celebrities, we’re on a special celebrity guest list that went public yesterday. Clearly, this seems like a great virtual event for Durant and Levert to bond with each other, which will make their connection on the court that much more special! Other notable athletes on the list include Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, and Delon Wright.

I hope you enjoyed this weekly summary Nets shenanigans! Check out our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for your latest Brooklyn Nets news and listen to the Fireside Nets w/ Spen & Nick podcast!

On this Date in Nets History: 1976

On May 13th, 1976, Julius Erving and the New York Nets defeated the Nuggets 112 – 106 in Game 6 of the ABA Finals in Nassau Coliseum to win their 2nd ABA championship in 3 years. With Dr. J leading the way, the team also had several players who would play in the NBA later in their career, including Al Skinner, John Williamson, and Brian Taylor.

Before their NBA tenure, the Nets were a force to be reckoned with in the ABA. Their star? Julius “Dr. J” Erving. a man who would go on to be one of the greatest players in the history of the league. Before his 11 dominant years in the NBA, Erving was the king of the ABA, averaging close to 30 a game during his 5 years in the ABA. He won 2 ABA championships in 3 years with the Nets. One could say, he was the Michael Jordan of the ABA.

For those who are not as familiar with Julius Erving’s body of work, check out this video of several highlights from his Nets career:

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Brooklyn Nets: Spencer Dinwiddie Weighs in on possible continuation of NBA Season

Brooklyn Nets, Spencer Dinwiddie

Recognized as one of the most active Brooklyn Nets on Twitter, Spencer Dinwiddie had a few drinks on Sunday night and decided to share his thoughts on the NBA possibly salvaging the rest of this season. Here are a series of Dinwiddie’s tweets from Sunday night:

So according to Dinwiddie, saving this season is not worth it the reasons he listed. He also has a very creative thought process as to how the NBA could play next season without fans. I personally find Dinwiddie’s plan for the NBA extremely feasible and really think the NBA could stand to gain something from listening to his and other players’ suggestions.

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