The nets’ last foray into the super-team world may be over.
12-time NBA All-Star Kevin Durant requested a business deal, and the Nets gave him permission to find a business partner, Durant’s business manager Rich Kleiman, ESPN . said. Durant’s request came three days after Kyrie Irving decided to choose to enter the final year of his four-year contract.
Durant and Irving signed with the Nets in 2019 on four-year deals, but Durant last year signed an extension to 2026.
Durant, 33, is widely believed to be one of the best goal-scoring forwards in NBA history. He was named the League’s Most Valuable Player in 2014, which was one of the four seasons in which Durant led the league in scoring.
During his last season with the Nets, Durant played in 55 games and averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game.
Durant and Irving came to Brooklyn in hopes of winning a championship together after Durant recovered from a ruptured Achilles tendon during the 2019 Finals, when he was with Golden State. They were close friends before joining the nets.
“We want to end our careers together,” Irving said. Reporters at their introductory press conference. “We want to do this as a team, and what better place to do this than Brooklyn?”
Even when Irving was criticized by the media and fans, Durant publicly supported him. Irving missed most of the season while he was ineligible to play in home matches because he refused the coronavirus vaccination.
“I can’t end a friendship based on something like that,” Durant yahoo said In April, after the Boston Celtics swept the Nets in the first round of the playoffs. “Our friendship is based on who we are as human beings.”
With rumors swirling recently that Irving wants to get out of Brooklyn, Durant said in his podcast that he was not involved with Irving’s potential free agency.
“Basketball is obviously the most important thing, but I try not to let that get in the way of someone else’s decision. Like I said, whatever happens, the friendship will remain,” Durant said.