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In his quest to bring the championship to the Brooklyn Nets, Kevin Durant ended the season 0-1. are starting

Kevin Durant lost.

It was announced Tuesday by the Brooklyn Nets’ statement that the organization and its disgruntled superstar “have agreed to move forward with our partnership” following a meeting in Los Angeles between the two sides.

This is the partnership that Durant sought to dissolve just a few weeks ago so that he could be sent to the team of his choice. It was a meeting in which the owner, Joe Tsai, and the two men Durant demanded the dismissal If he remains – head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks.


The now-to-be-divorced claims they are “focusing on basketball, with one collective goal in mind: build a sustainable franchise to bring a championship to Brooklyn.”

It’s a breathtaking return for Durant, and a seismic shift from the normal course of things when NBA superstars demand, no matter how far-fetched they may seem at the time.

Perhaps the two most obvious examples of player power runs amok were near and dear to the net that they’ve finally had enough—for themselves and perhaps now, in a massive shift in power in the NBA. First it was James Harden who wanted to move out of Houston, and then, ironically out of Brooklyn, eventually landing in Philly. And, secondly, but connected, it was Ben Simmons refusing to play for the Sixers and moving to Brooklyn, where … he still hasn’t played a minute of basketball.

Both players got what they wanted. So almost every other superstar is sad – at one time or another the list includes Anthony Davis, Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard and others.

Now a precedent for teams that want to wrestle some of the upper hand back, KD goes about things in a ham-fist way in a big way possible. Power is a formidable weapon when used wisely, because if you don’t know how to wield it, you can suddenly find it in someone else’s hands.

Back when this mess first surfaced in July with Durant’s previously now-failed ultimatum, we argued that the Nets, for a variety of reasons, should just don’t tell him, This is as true now as it was then, but Durant certainly made it easier for Brooklyn to do so.

This is a world-class player with four years left on his contract, for whom time-lapse was always much less likely than Simmons, because as anyone in the NBA will tell you, Durant loves to hoop. It’s a passion, an admirable and key component of his all-time greatness, and he was unlikely to lose time volunteering with the sport he loves.

It was the first point in favor of the Nets. It also helped that the Kyrie Irving debacle meant that the Nets would always look to resolve Durant’s situation first and – just as importantly – tear apart a team with the lofty hopes that would come with the Durant-Kyrie pairing. Ask for a big refund.

It wasn’t a squad with a lone superstar and no real championship path ahead, as, say, Denver Nuggets team Carmelo Anthony forced his way a decade ago. The Nets were a contender, at least on paper, and that meant Marx had to get the right returns to save his job.

Sometimes, when you have no choice, you have a strange kind of freedom. That’s where the Nets GM found itself.

It all got lost on Durant when he inadvertently went to London and told Tsai that the owner would have to choose between him and Nash and Marx. Here’s a good rule to live up to: Don’t try to be strong billionaires.

Then, still failing to read the situation correctly, Durant or those around him apparently leaked the ultimatum, trying to pressure Tsai into succumbing to his will. A second rule to live by, closely tied to the first: Don’t try to publicly pressure those billionaires after private strong-arm tactics fail.

Now, it’s true that both sides still get a little more out of it except we’re trying to sell all-in-one-to-one. While Durant may still be the net this season, it is no lock, and in this arrangement each side can win something over the other.

This statement is the perfect way for Brooklyn to tell the Grizzlies, Celtics, Sons, Heat, and any other potential lovers who were dreaming of a KD takeover, that the price is the price. Brooklyn has taken advantage of those teams publicly and strongly, with the best tool for getting a deal for Durant – the threat he will remain.

That, Durant & Co., is how you do it.

And Durant gets something, too. He surrounds. He gets ready for the NBA season, most likely with the Nets, but perhaps still elsewhere, with a (less) distracting training camp and a clear focus on basketball being the key to a solid start. He loves the game, and he continues to play it, and it’s something like that.

But don’t let this news obscure the fact that Durant lost the publicly launched battle.

The coach he had sought will still be his coach. The GM he sought to sack is still in charge. The team he refused to be a part of still continues to serve. And the team owner who saw him in muscular form showed him what a strangulation power looked like.

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