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Is Kevin Durant right about the Nets? Should they have treated Kyrie Irving better?

All eyes are on Brooklyn at the moment as the Nets top brass try to find a solution to an increasingly hostile standoff with their two best players.

Is Kevin Durant right about the Nets? Should they have treated Kyrie Irving better?
Gregory ShamusAFP

If there is one thing that has become clear in recent days, it’s that the situation between Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets is deteriorating and quickly.

Kevin Durant isn’t happy with the Nets

As the increasingly tense situation plays out between the Brooklyn Nets and their two stars, both of whom are close personal friends, it is becoming increasingly clear that something is going to give. Most recently a long time confidant of Durant’s and the source of an extensive piece on the Nets star’s attitude gave the clearest indication yet as to where the former MVP’s head is at. To begin with, there is now no doubt that Durant is not pleased with the Nets management, specifically GM Sean Marks and owner Joseph Tsai. Murdoch explained:

“I made some calls. Kevin Durant has not talked to the team in weeks. I don’t think Kevin is confident in the front office right now. I don’t know if he’s at the stage of leaving but there’s a big uneasiness from not only from the Kyrie side, but the KD side as well. ...His biggest beef is that he feels that the front office didn’t grow to understand Kyrie, whatever that means. I would push back on that when a guy leaves for two weeks at a time. ...Kyrie earns the lion’s share of the blame. But I think KD believes that ‘hey, you guys didn’t understand this guy. You didn’t try to figure out where he was coming from.’ Murdoch continued, “The Nets got rid of Adam Harrington. who’s very close to Kevin. He’s one of Kevin’s guys. And that had a big ripple effect on how Kevin feels about this right now. He’s still in this figure-it-out mode but there is some fire to that smoke that he’s kind of reevaluating where he stands with this.”

So where is Kevin Durant at right now?

Interestingly, Murdoch also went on to confirm that despite talk of the opposite, Durant is not actually attempting to convince any free agents to join the team. That in itself would seem to suggest that Durant’s issue does indeed lie with the front office and not the roster itself.

It should be said that Durant has a history of taking decisions after a period of contemplation. True though it is that said decisions have not always been fan favorites, but the idea that they are the result of knee jerk reactions is simply not true. Perhaps if there is one thing that Durant could be accused of it would be the idea that he was somewhat naive in believing that teaming up with his friend Kyrie Irving, and reconciling with James Harden, would have not only worked, but put them in true title contention. With that said, little blame can be placed on the shoulders of Durant when considering the Nets’ failure this season. When the 33 year old has been fit he has delivered. With all that in mind one could say with confidence that while Irving’s situation has not helped the Nets, it’s certainly not the reason they didn’t do better.

So What about Kyrie Irving?

If you ask Durant, his take on his friend is that Kyrie Irving is making personal decisions which the Nets in turn failed to understand. On the other hand could it not be that the franchise understood very well and simply didn’t like the look of the probable outcome. That’s to say that the Nets understood very clearly that Irving’s choices - refusing the covid-19 vaccine for example - would end in either outright termination of his contract or some kind of mix match scenario which would not be ideal for either party. In the end Irving played part time for the Nets, a team owned by a man who is openly pro-vaccine. Needless to say the top brass were not happy with the star point guard’s stance and accused him of not being committed to the team. In truth can you blame them?

Where does the Nets vs Kyrie and Kevin end?

With the speculation and rumors intensifying with each passing day, it is all but certain that this scenario will have a ripple effect around the league. Irving recently provided the Nets with a list of teams he’d like to move to should they fail to reach an agreement. It goes without saying that’s not a good sign. Meanwhile KD has declared that he is weighing up his options which is also not a good sign for a team that was favored to win it all at the start of this season gone. Should it come to pass the Irving actually leaves, one has to imagine that Durant’s decision on whether he too stays or goes will be based on who the franchise can bring in to replace his friend. For the moment all we can do is watch this space.


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