Kevin Durant saw his influence fade this summer

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Kevin Durant will stay with the Brooklyn Nets, after months of demanding a trade.

When news of Durant’s deal with the Nets broke, it ended a long and complex saga that left everyone exhausted.

Ultimately, there would be no major payoff or twist – Durant would instead stay in Brooklyn and give the team another chance.

Ever since his trade request leaked, Durant’s chances of leaving the team have only diminished.

Why?

It was because Durant had lost his influence on the Nets and they had no real reason to listen to him.

He initially asked for a trade and it looked like it might happen, but the Nets flat out said no.

Then he told the team to fire head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks, and the Nets again said no.

There were rumors that Durant might even retire if Brooklyn didn’t meet his demands, but they didn’t budge.

Finally, Durant agreed to return to Brooklyn.

In the end, Brooklyn played this whole situation perfectly and they got exactly what they wanted.

Brooklyn wins

The Nets knew that if they wanted to keep Durant, they had the upper hand.

All they had to do was sit back and not accept any deal.

They (correctly) assumed Durant would eventually come back and compete with the team, even if he wanted to be traded.

They let Durant calm down, then returned for a constructive conversation that resulted in him being fully integrated into his team once again.

Now the hard work really begins.

Durant and his team still have a long way to go before dominating the Eastern Conference.

Their possible path to greatness begins today.