Kevin Durant
David Richard | USA TODAY Sports

Poor Kevin Durant. He just had to hop on Twitter and bat down the salacious report he is going to retire rather than play for the Nets again.

Only no one ever said that. Longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein’s deeply-reported piece on his Substack merely included an anecdote about a league executive who expressed a belief Durant was more likely to retire than stay in Brooklyn. A belief that Stein pushed back on in the report and called “serious hyperbole.” But the internet aggregation machine got cranking and gave Durant an opening to refute something that did not exist while avoiding the thing that clearly does exist.

Because Stein also reported this:

If Durant hasn’t been traded by [the start of training camp], there is a growing expectation in league circles that he will continue trying to cause as much of a ruckus behind the scenes to try to prod the Nets into lowering their asking price at last to facilitate a deal.

Note Durant did not come out and deny he plans to crank the chaos up. Or deny he wants to force a trade by duress. Or say he will report to camp and fulfill the terms of his contract as long as he is with the Nets. And how he has never denied he demanded owner Joseph Tsai fire general manager Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash in order to keep him.

It sounds like Stein nailed this one, no?

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James Kratch can be reached at

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.