Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant knows a thing or two about controversial decisions.
“He [Irving] did what he was supposed to do in Cleveland. It’s on to the next chapter.” Durant said on The Bill Simmons Podcast this week.
“I can really appreciate what he did” Durant said.
“He stood up for himself, he showed a lot of courage, man, because it’s hard to take that type of criticism. When you just want to play ball. I feel him on that”
“I just think Kyrie just wanted a place where he can focus on just playing basketball and not worrying about the other drama that comes with [playing along with Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James].
It just felt like he wanted a situation where he would just be free from all of that and just play.
“When you’re around LeBron James there’s so much that comes with that” Durant explained.
“Outside distractions and conversations and just noise that just comes around just from being around LeBron James and Kyrie was at the point like; ‘All right, we lost the championship.
This whole season’s gonna be about if LeBron’s gonna leave or not and ‘I’m ready for a new challenge.’ All that stuff kind of met at the pinnacle of why he wanted to leave.”
Durant can relate to Irving.
“Kyrie reminds me of myself just from the outside looking in” Durant stated.
“I may be wrong on all of these things but from the outside looking in I’ve been around him for a month or so and he reminds me of myself as far as just loving to play the game.
Just wanting to learn it and try to get better at it every day. I can feel that, I can sense that in him.”
Nets, Knicks Targeting Kyrie Irving
According to the New York Times’ Marc Stein, there are already “credible rumblings” that the Knicks and Nets will pursue Irving, whose “intentions are not at all clear at this point”, should the All-Star guard hit the free agent market next July.
“There have been no firm indications from Irving or his camp that the All-Star guard is eyeing an exit from Boston next summer or that he’s angling to go to New York—as is often speculated,” Stein said.
Irving posted averaged 24.4 points, 5.1 assists during his first season with the Celtics.
Celtics, Marcus Smart Agree to 4-year, $52 Million Deal
Earlier this week, the Celtics and Smart were working toward a contract after Smart initially did not receive much contact from the team’s front office when free agency opened in early July.
Smart averaged 10.2 points, 4.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals for Boston last season and was a key contributor to their success.
Celtics Considering Four-Year, Nearly $50 Million Deal for Marcus Smart
Smart has wanted to remain with the Celtics and sees his value being worth more than the $12-to-16 million annual valuation that he expected to command during his stint in free agency.
Boston has held firm on their 12 million per year range valuation of Smart.
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