Brooklyn Boro

Durant waiting for exit from Brooklyn

Nets still holding out for more in trade as summer wears on

July 28, 2022 John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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It’s hard to believe a generational talent like Kevin Durant isn’t drawing more buzz or interest on the NBA trade market.

But the Brooklyn Nets remain steadfast and prudent.

They don’t want to simply ship the former two-time NBA Finals MVP to the first attractive or available suitor.

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Instead, Nets general manager Sean Marks and team owner Joseph Tsai are waiting for a haul that would keep Brooklyn on the NBA map as a legitimate title contender, or at least set the team up for the not-so-distant future.

Judging from the ongoing standstill and several ill-fated rumored deals, both parties are apparently willing to wait it out.

Boston is the latest locale Durant may or may not be headed to depending on who you listen to this week.

The Celtics and Nets reportedly exchanged ideas on a potential deal a few weeks ago, but nothing has materialized as of yet.

Boston star Jayson Tatum attended the premiere of the Showtime documentary, “NYC Point Gods”, which Durant got an executive producer credit for, earlier this week.

But Tatum remained mum on the matter of a rumored blockbuster deal that would send Jaylen Brown from Beantown to Brooklyn.

“I played with [Durant] during the Olympics,” Tatum said Tuesday. “Obviously, he’s a great player, but that’s not my decision. I love our team. I love the guys that we got.”

So would the Nets if Durant and fellow superstar Kyrie Irving, who is back on his $36.5 million option for next season but also on the trade block, returned to Brooklyn for one more run at the franchise’s first-ever NBA title and our borough’s first major pro sports championship since 1955.

“I love our team,” Tatum reiterated. “I just go out there and play with my teammates. I don’t put that [general manager] hat on to make decisions.”

Marks does wear that hat, and Tsai and his wife Clara will be in on any deal that could alter not only the NBA landscape, but the Nets’ ongoing tenure here as a viable championship squad.

A swap sending Irving to the Los Angeles Lakers for Russell Westbrook never seemed to get off the ground, and now Durant is waiting for the Nets to get exactly what they want in trade.

Otherwise, two disgruntled superstars could be headed to training camp in September here in Brooklyn without a new team.

How that may impact their current franchise is yet to be determined.

The borough is on stand by, along with Durant, Irving and the rest of the Nets, many of whom are doubtlessly wondering when, or if, they’ll ever hit the hardwood with the high-priced tandem again.

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The LIU baseball team reached the NCAA Regionals this past season, but also earned yet another academic honor. Photo courtesy of LIU Athletics

In local college sports news, the Long Island University baseball team, fresh off making an historic run to the NCAA Regionals, has earned yet another accolade.

The reigning Northeast Conference champions learned Wednesday that they earned the American Baseball Coaches Association Team Academic Excellence Award for the sixth consecutive season.

That’s heady stuff for a unit that has reached the national championships twice since 2018 and picked up a program-record 37 victories this past year.

“I’m very proud to see this team achieve the ABCA academic award,” LIU baseball coach Dan Pirillo said.

“We take pride in striving for excellence in the classroom and on the baseball field,” he added. “To see what this group accomplished on the field all while achieving their goals in the classroom makes me proud.”

The ABCA has a long tradition of recognizing the achievements of baseball coaches and student-athletes. The ABCA/Rawlings All-America Teams are the nation’s oldest, founded in 1949.

Teams must post at least a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average to be eligible.

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Former St. Francis point guard Nevena Dimitrijevic signed to play professionally in Spain this week. Photo courtesy of SFC Brooklyn Athletics

Over on Remsen Street, former Terriers sharp-shooter Nevena Dimitrijevic is going pro after signing a contract with BAXI Ferrol in Spain’s second division in women’s basketball, the team announced Tuesday.

Lino Lopez, BAXI Ferrol’s head coach, noted Dimitrijevic’s intellect and ability to facilitate on offense.

The Kragujevac, Serbia native finished her career at SFC eighth in program history with 354 assists and third overall with 174 assists in a single season.

The All-Northeast Conference point guard was the second student-athlete in program history to be named NEC Rookie of the Year and the first to be named ECAC Rookie of the Year.

Dimitrijevic was also named All-NEC Second Team, All-NEC Third Team, All-Met Third Team and two-time Battle of Brooklyn MVP.

Even in an injury-abbreviated 2021-22 campaign, Dimitrijevic was the Terriers’ second-leading scorer.

“We are all incredibly proud of Nev for signing a professional contract with BAXI Ferrol! She etched her name into the St. Francis record books and showed herself to be a great leader and great point guard,” said St. Francis head coach Linda Cimino.

“We wish her nothing but the best in Spain and can’t wait to watch her compete!”

According to the school’s athletic department, Dimitrijevic is the first former Terrier to land a professional deal since Alex Delaney signed with the Canberra Capitals in Australia’s WNBL in 2019.


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