Kevin Durant is regarded by many as the best current player in the NBA. With that label comes a certain amount of leverage and the ability to weigh in on some big decisions.
It would appear that Durant did precisely that recently, when the Brooklyn Nets apparently entertained the thought of trading away oft-troubled guard Kyrie Irving.
The Nets’ irritation with Irving’s antics is the worst kept secret in the NBA. In that regard, the fact that the front office was open to moving him shouldn’t come as a shock.
Durant’s loyalty to him, however, is fascinating.
During Wednesday’s episode of First Take, ESPN NBA insider Stephen A. Smith revealed that a trade was on the table that would send Kyrie Irving to the Philadelphia 76ers in return for Ben Simmons. Why didn’t it happen? Durant.
Kyrie to the Sixers??? pic.twitter.com/xAhHj99VAz
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) September 22, 2021
Stephen A Smith just said the Nets would have traded Kyrie Irving for Ben Simmons but Kevin Durant is the one who said no, not GM Sean Marks. pic.twitter.com/aYYG76qbyT
— Rob Lopez (@r0bato) September 22, 2021
“Kyrie could have ended up in Philly,” Smith said.
“[Nets general manager] Sean Marks couldn’t do that because KD wasn’t having it. KD wasn’t having it. Philadelphia might have said no, but I assure you, if it were not for Kevin Durant, the Brooklyn Nets would be interested in making that deal.”
Jake Paul is ready for war. https://t.co/PmklEb92K8
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 22, 2021
Durant seems dead set on, not only winning a championship in Brooklyn, but doing it alongside Irving. He is taking that goal very seriously, as evidenced by the incredible body transformation he has undergone over the offseason. Between that and his tough talk for the Los Angeles Lakers recently it’s clear that Durant is zeroed in on winning a title this year with Irving – by any means necessary.
It will be interesting to see how this entire situation unfolds. If the Nets ultimately claim a chip in 2021-22 then Durant vetoing the Simmons-for-Irving trade will be moot and forgotten. Should that not happen, however – the decision could go down as one of the biggest mistakes in modern day NBA history.