Now, with both set to return for the 2022-23 season, one obvious question has emerged: What is the status of their once-strong friendship?
This week, NBA insider Shams Charania spoke at length about what the current relationship status is between Durant and Irving.
“The one guy with the Nets that Kevin Durant had remained in communication with, from everything I’ve been told, was Kyrie Irving,” Charania revealed.
“That was the one guy that he was communicating with on a regular basis. …That relationship goes beyond just basketball. I think it’s more a life friendship that those do have.”
Whatever the issue (or issues) may have been, all parties involved have resolved to move forward.
The Nets are actively pursuing at least one notable player to pair with Durant and Irving. But ownership and the front office may believe that, despite all that has transpired, on paper there is enough talent here to win an NBA championship.
That has been the thought process this entire time, which probably explains why Brooklyn set such a ludicrous asking price for Durant to begin with.
The Nets didn’t want to let him go.
All that being said, this is shaping up to be a make-or-break year for Durant, Irving and the Nets as a whole.
If they win a championship or come close to it, it’s not difficult to see a scenario where Irving gets brought back and all parties involved keep going for the entirety of Durant’s contract.
Should they fail, though, expect even more drama in the next offseason than we saw in this one.