Kevin Durant lamented the weakness of the Brooklyn Nets' roster after their struggles continued against the Sacramento Kings, saying the team's poor form should surprise no one.
The Nets sit adrift of the Eastern Conference's Playoff and Play-In Tournament spots with a 6-9 record for the season, having slipped to a demoralising 153-121 defeat against the Kings on Tuesday.
The team have also been plagued by off-court concerns this campaign, with guard Kyrie Irving having been suspended after sharing offensive material on social media.
Durant requested a trade ahead of the campaign, and he remains concerned about the Nets' lack of forward momentum, adding that expectations must be tempered with their current roster.
"I had some complaints in the summer, and my complaints were not about just me; it was about how we are moving as a unit," he told Bleacher Report.
"I want us to be respected out here in the basketball world. I don't want players to look at us and say, 'Oh man, they are full of s***. That's not the type of team I want to be on.
"So when we're all playing like s***, you know the one person they're going to look at. That's why I requested a trade.
"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?
"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 number seven is out there."
The Nets next travel cross-country to face the Portland Trail Blazers, before returning home to host the Memphis Grizzlies.