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Kevin Durant On Being A Leader For The Nets: ‘You Expect Us To Win Because I’m Out There’

Saying the season hasn’t started the way the Brooklyn Nets wanted would be an understatement. After the team got pummeled by the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night, Brooklyn fell to 6-9 on the year. Kyrie Irving continues to be suspended from the team, Ben Simmons has largely been either hurt or a shell of his former self, and Steve Nash got fired with Jacque Vaughn taking over in his place due to the team’s original plan of hiring Ime Udoka falling through.

Throughout it all, Kevin Durant has played like one of the best basketball players in the world. Durant’s averaging more than 30 points per game and keeps finding other ways to impact games, but it has not necessarily translated to wins for one reason or another. In the midst of all that, Durant told Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report that his focus is on trying to lead.

“Look at our starting lineup. Edmond Sumner, Royce O’Neale, Joe Harris, [Nic] Claxton and me. It’s not disrespect, but what are you expecting from that group?” Durant said. “You expect us to win because I’m out there. So if you’re watching from that lens, you’re expecting us to play well because No. 7 is out there.”

Durant went on to say that he’s having fun during games, and believes that the perception that he’s “miserable” would change “if I got mic’d up more.” He also explained that his perspective has changed in recent years, due in large part to the Achilles tear that he suffered during the 2019 NBA Finals.

“I’m really having a good time,” Durant said. “I wish y’all could hear me talk during the game. If I got mic’d up more, people would stop asking me if I’m happy or not. I’m enjoying every moment I get to step on this f*cking court, and part of it is because I tore my Achilles. And the pandemic, I didn’t know if we were going to play again. I didn’t know if I was going to play again.

“I was just like, ‘This can’t be it for me,’” he continued. “I have to really enjoy every single moment I’m out here. That’s part of being a pro. I have to be coachable, I have to knock down shots, I have to be aggressive, and I have to talk to my teammates the right way. That’s the journey and the battle.”