Nicolas Claxton claims Brooklyn Nets had a “toxic environment” last season as players were unsure about being with the team

Nicolas Claxton highlighted a bold reason for the difference between the Brooklyn Nets, who were without Kevin Durant last season and now. The Nets were without Durant at this point a year ago. The team endured a 12-game slip that turned its season without KD.

Brooklyn has currently lost its last three games in his absence. However, Claxton believes there is a big difference between now and then. Here’s what he said after the Nets’ 106-98 loss to the San Antonio Spurs (via Nick Friedell):

“Last year… it was kind of a toxic environment. At the time we didn’t know if everyone wanted to be here. This year there is no separation between everyone that is out there. We’ll find out. “

Nic Claxton on the difference between not having KD last year and now: “Last year… it was kind of a toxic environment. At the time we didn’t know if everyone wanted to be here. This year there is no separation between everyone out there. We’ll find out.”

The Nets had many internal problems. Kyrie Irving has been suspended for his anti-vaccination stance. Brooklyn eventually remembered Irving, but he was only eligible to play street games since New York City mandates barred him from playing in Brooklyn until they lifted restrictions in April.

His backcourt partner and All-Star guard James Harden was unfazed by Irving’s absence and the team’s losing streak, leading to him wanting to get out. The dressing room was already adjusting to Irving’s lack of availability, so mentally they struggled to find cohesion or build chemistry.

But that wasn’t the case this year. The Brooklyn Nets’ internal troubles eased after a torrid offseason that could have seen Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving leave the team. Since coach Jacque Vaughn took office on Nov. 1, the Nets have displayed impeccable chemistry, which led to their midseason turnaround.

Without Durant, the team has been inconsistent, but those issues are entirely on the pitch. Nicolas Claxton seems to have assessed the situation accurately.


Brooklyn Nets need Nicolas Claxton’s leadership amid Kevin Durant’s absence

The Brooklyn Nets have lost three straight games on the road in the absence of Kevin Durant following their 106-98 loss to the underperforming San Antonio Spurs. The Nets were also without Kyrie Irving. Brooklyn’s offense has gone cold during this skid.

It’s not easy to replace 30 points per game. All teams fight without their superstars. However, the Nets are better equipped than most if not all teams in the entire NBA to put on a decent run. The nets are struggling to deal with their misfire offense.

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Their defense also crumbled against the Spurs. That was one of their greatest strengths, so the Nets should have played with more discipline. Brooklyn obviously needs a leader on the court in KD’s absence.

Nicolas Claxton, the team’s defensive anchor and a rising star, could make that difference. He was their most consistent player that year behind Durant. Claxton needs to be louder on the pitch and in the dressing room at this stage.

The Brooklyn Nets may be struggling to get their offense going, but if they can maintain their intensity at the other end, breaking out of this slump would be a little easier.

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