Kevin Durant slams Nets for handling Kyrie Irving mess
WASHINGTON — In the wake of Kyrie Irving’s suspension, Kevin Durant didn’t criticize the actions of his Nets teammates over the past week, but instead lamented the attention they received.
Irving’s promotion of a movie with anti-Semitic tropes, and his steadfast refusal to apologize for an entire week, eventually landed him a five-game suspension for Brooklyn. But listening to Durant, it’s hard to tell if he felt Irving’s stubbornness was to blame, or if the media or the microscope was looking at it.
“It is an unfortunate situation for the people who are affected by this situation. It sucks for everyone. Hopefully we can get past it,” Durant said. “Yeah. That’s the way the NBA is now. The media, so many outlets now and their stories come so fast now. That’s where it all comes from the chaos of everyone’s opinions everyone has an opinion on this situation and we’re hearing it non-stop.
“But once the balls start bouncing and we get into practice, none of that stuff seeps into the gym. So that’s the best part about being in the league. But once you get off the court, everybody’s taking the microphones out and the microscopes looking at you asking how you feel. This has been difficult. But the game is the constant for us.”
It should be noted that Durant is a gym-obsessed person, known for his single-minded approach to the game. All of this may take away from the Nets’ pursuit of a title.
When asked if the suspension, which could last more than five games, was fair and just, Durant said he believes and trusts the organization “to do the right thing.”
For now, with Irving banned and Ben Simmons injured, Durant is once again the only one of Brooklyn’s Big Three still standing. In that, it’s similar to last season when Irving’s refusal to get shots led him to miss up to a third of the season, contributed to James Harden’s trade demand and forced Durant to carry the load.
In the morning round before the Nets’ road game at the Washington Wizards, Durant was asked how he thought Irving had handled himself this week, when he had two tough exchanges with the media and refused to show remorse until after be suspended
“I don’t listen to judge anybody or talk to anybody because of how they feel or their opinions or anything, it’s just that … I didn’t like anything that happened. I feel like it was all unnecessary,” Durant said. “I felt like we could have just kept playing basketball and shut up as an organization. I just don’t like anything.”
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