Most fans have questioned why Kevin Durant has persevered in playing with Kyrie Irving for the Brooklyn Nets, discounting the fact that they are close friends. KD practically swapped the pro’s pro that is Steph Curry for Irving and his myriad of off-court issues.
The Ringer’s Wosny Lambre, on “The Bill Simmons Podcast,” speculated on the hidden reason why Kevin Durant hasn’t given up on playing with Irving:
Kyrie Irving couldn’t lead the Cleveland Cavaliers on his own, but was exceptional as LeBron James’
As he has done for most of his career, James brought the best out of his co-stars. He knew when to push or when to back off and allowed Kyrie Irving to get his game going.
Together, they went to four straight NBA Finals, winning in 2015 against Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors. James and Irving, however, were no match for the Warriors once Kevin Durant joined them from Oklahoma.
After never missing the NBA Finals in his three-year run with the Warriors, Durant decided to take on a new challenge with Kyrie Irving when he moved to Brooklyn. Their grand plans have taken one serious hit after another in the three years since they joined forces.
For all their potential, they’ve only won one playoff series. Kevin Durant has refused to address Irving’s many off-court issues, which played a big part in last season’s embarrassing sweep against the Boston Celtics.
Kevin Durant is reportedly committed to playing out his four-year contract in Brooklyn. Kyrie Irving will be in the final year of his deal unless the Nets give him an extension.
If no extension is offered to Irving, next season will be his last to silence his doubters.
Nets GM Sean Marks has retooled the roster to provide a better supporting cast for the two superstars. Royce O’Neale and TJ Warren will provide depth, size and versatility from the wing and guard spots. Brooklyn is also expected to have a healthier team than the one that limped through last season.
The return of Joe Harris and Ben Simmons’ debut could provide some of the spark the Brooklyn Nets badly needed last season.
On paper, they’re expected to make some noise, but everyone has seen this act before. The Brooklyn Nets have been serious title contenders over the last three years, only to fail when it’s mattered the most.
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