The Brooklyn Nets traded Kevin Durant on the night that Kyrie Irving made his Dallas Mavericks debut. Irving’s departure may have led to Durant’s trade. The duo played together for three seasons with the Nets, but their time together was overshadowed by off-court tensions over championship success.
Kyrie Irving reacts to Kevin Durant’s trade; fires subtle shots towards Brooklyn Nets
Durant’s trade news was reported while Irving was at his first-ever Mavericks post-game presser. The 2016 NBA champion fired subtle shots at the Brooklyn Nets, claiming he was “praying” for his former teammate’s happiness. Here’s what Irving told reporters (via Callie Caplan):
“I’m praying for his happiness… We had a lot of conversations throughout the year about what our futures were going to look like. There was still a level of uncertainty, but we just cared about seeing each other be in places where we can thrive… I’m just glad he got out of there.”
Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant had a tumultuous tenure in Brooklyn. The former, in particular, often had run-ins with the team management. Irving’s frequent absence for various reasons drove a wedge between him and the Nets. Their differences impacted James Harden and Kevin Durant, asking to be traded eventually.
Harden moved upon his first request at the 2022 deadline, while Durant got his wish on his second attempt a few days ago. Irving and the Nets’ contract negotiations falling apart led to his move, which diminished Brooklyn’s hopes of winning a championship, despite having Durant on the team.
KD is now with the team of his preference, alongside Devin Booker and Chris Paul. The Phoenix Suns are well-run from a management standpoint and are among the most well-coached teams in the NBA. They have been one of the most successful regular-season teams over the last two seasons. They made the finals two years ago and will have a better shot at winning the title with Durant.
Kyrie Irving fired shots in the Nets’ direction about their disagreements and hinted that the organization could’ve been better with how they dealt with him and Kevin Durant.
The two superstars had very few moments where they were on the same page with the franchise. Nevertheless, their unsuccessful marriage has now finally come to an end, and only the parties involved would know exactly where everything turned around.
The Brooklyn Nets could likely enter a rebuild following the end of the Kyrie Irving-Kevin Durant era, while the two will be competing for a championship as rivals in the same conference.
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