End of Irving and Durant Era Bound to Happen


(Photo credit: Al Bello/Getty Images)

Who didn’t see this one coming?

Apparently, Kevin Durant reached out to Nets owner Joe Tsai to say he wants out of Brooklyn. This comes after the Nets and Kyrie Irving are not happy with each other.

Yes, it was either going to end up great or terrible. There was not going to be an in-the-middle with those two narcissistic personalities.

It ended up terribly altogether. They managed to muster only one playoff round win together. Not only they fail to play in the NBA Finals and not win a championship, they never made it to the conference final. Their run will be remembered by them being swept by the Boston Celtics. To say it was a failure all around is an understatement.

After deciding to exercise his player option to return for the 2022-2023 season rather than be a free agent this season, Irving will be finishing the final season of his original contract that he signed in the summer of 2019. Whether he stays with the Nets this season is another story.

If anyone has been reading the tea leaves of what has gone on with the Nets and Irving, it sure seems like divorce is likely in the making for both parties. The Nets dared their point guard to leave by searching for a team that could do a sign-and-trade with him and he can get his money and his new contract. Unfortunately for him, no one wanted his services for good reason. They did not want to deal with his nonsense, so he is stuck with the Nets and they are stuck with him.

Make no mistake. This is awkward for both parties. There is no way either is happy with each other at the moment, and the residue about the Nets not giving Irving a new contract may likely create hard feelings during the regular season if both are stuck with each other.

The Nets basically told Irving to either play out his contract or get lost. They expressed no interest in giving him an extension after being a part-time player this past season because he did not get vaccinated. They relented to him playing road games, but he could not play at home with  New York’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates, and it ruined the cohesion of him and his teammates. James Harden decided to leave because he wanted no part of Irving’s nonsense

Irving torpedoed the team’s championship chances with his selfishness by having a star player depart to another team through trade and the team never really got in sync. No one can blame the Nets for finally letting him know that he has to earn their trust again before he gets what he wants. The days of the team catering to him are officially over.

The troubled Nets point guard can’t be happy that he did not get his way. He likely feels insulted. In his world, he is right and everyone is wrong. This player was not accountable for a horrible playoff series against the Boston Celtics, which resulted in a Celtics sweep of the Nets. This is a player who did not seem bothered about his team being swept by his old team. He is just so out of touch with reality. In his mind, the Nets should be thankful that he plays for them.

When things don’t go his way, he pouts and behaves like a malcontent. Just ask the Boston Celtics. Just ask the Cleveland Cavaliers. Both teams tried to make him happy, and he still became a problem child for them.

Irving hasn’t exactly been a model of good character with the Nets. In his first season, he and Durant played a role in getting Kenny Atkinson fired as head coach. Then, when the Nets appeared like a team with a lost cause, he quit on them in the bubble after the NBA resumed post-COVID-19 by staying on the injured list rather than playing hurt and leading the Nets to the playoffs. He behaved well in his second season with Durant finally being healthy to play. This season, he reverted back to his old ways.

There is no looking back for him and the Nets. The damage is done. It would not be in the best interest of both parties to go on even if he is signed into this season. Durant knows it, too, which is why he wants out. A disengaged Irving is something Durant and the Nets don’t need.

As for Durant, the timing is right for the Nets to dump him. They can get a boatload in return for him right now while he is in his prime. This is a team that needs to reload and start over. It hasn’t worked with him and Irving, and it won’t work.

Durant is more of an iso-ball player. He never made anyone better. The offense was unwatchable most of the time. He put on excellent individual performances, but it never resulted to wins. Most times, he was often miserable than happy. Here’s the bottom line with him: He failed to elevate the Nets.

Neither did Irving. The Nets don’t need the drama anymore with both of those guys. There’s no reason to run it back now. When both guys and the Nets seem to want a divorce, there’s no reason to patch this up and hope this somehow works. It’s over now.

It can’t be any worse than what we saw in this failed Irving and Durant era.

No one cared about the Nets when Durant and Irving were here. They never won anything with that duo. This is another reason it makes sense to get rid of this losing duo.

The Nets are going to have to start over. This is not a bad thing actually. At least they will be likable. Most importantly, they can start growing their own fanbase by developing organically through the draft and less-heralded trades.

For Tsai and Nets general manager Sean Marks to realize it’s not working, they finally get it. This could be the start of getting this franchise corrected.

It can’t be any worse than what we saw in this failed Irving and Durant era.

This writer can be reached on Twitter at: @LeslieMonteiro6

Trending This Week:

Leave a Reply