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Nets: Durant and Irving turn the page after chaotic summer

NEW YORK (AP) — Kevin Durant asked to be transferred, although he sensed that it would not happen. Kyrie Irving wanted to stay, but he feared that they would find him another destination.

In a chaotic offseason for the Brooklyn Nets, even the team’s stars couldn’t get it.

“It was awkward,” Irving acknowledged.

Now the Nets are ready to put it all behind them.

Durant remains on the team and says he’s committed. Irving also stayed, but he did not contract her, nothing else guarantees him this year.

Brooklyn has talent and an uncertain future.

Durant asked to be traded after the Nets were dispatched in the first round of the postseason, swept by the Boston Celtics. But the striker says his anger began months earlier, disappointed by the team’s lack of grit when he was sidelined with a knee injury in January and February.

Brooklyn tried to negotiate with other teams, but getting rid of the star starting a four-year contract extension and getting something comparable in return wasn’t going to be easy.

“I am clear that I am a good player and that they were not going to give me away,” Durant said.

The Nets didn’t let him go and they also didn’t fire general manager Sean Marks or coach Steve Nash as Durant asked. Nash said he and Durant have a longstanding bond, likening it to a family disagreement.

MILLIONAIRE DECISION

Irving said his refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19 raised questions about his commitment to the team, ultimately contributing to his staying in Brooklyn. Some teams may have been reluctant to trade for the point guard, despite his talent, because they were unsure about his availability.

He could have received a contract extension last summer and thought it would happen before this season. The discussion ended after it became clear that he would not play full time. Marks says they didn’t force Irving to get vaccinated, but the player believes they gave him an “ultimatum” if he wanted to get paid.

“I let go of four years and hundreds of millions of dollars by not getting vaccinated and that was my decision,” Irving acknowledged.

TOGETHER

The Nets and Durant decided to stay together, and the forward says he’s not disappointed to stick with Brooklyn.

“I love to play,” Durant admitted. “I knew that would not be affected.”

THE SIMMONS SITUATION

Ben Simmons will finally play for the Nets after being acquired in February in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers for James Harden.

Simmons ended up needing back surgery. During his rehab he questioned whether he would ever play with Durant and Irving in Brooklyn.

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