Stephen A. Smith is a popular sports analyst and ESPN personality who has been hosting his own show on the network since 2003. In an interview with Bleacher Report, Smith was asked about the potential trade between the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets that would have sent Ben Simmons to Brooklyn in exchange for Kevin Durant.
The when will kd return is a question that has been asked many times. Stephen A. Smith boldly asserts in his article that Kevin Durant shut down the potential Ben Simmons trade.
Kevin Durant has undeniable clout inside the Brooklyn Nets organization. In the NBA, it’s always the resident superstar who gets the job done. However, Stephen A. Smith recently claimed that Durant was the driving force behind the Nets’ decision to abandon negotiations for a blockbuster deal including Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons. He only did it because he didn’t want Kyrie Irving to be part of the trade.
Irving and Durant arrived in Brooklyn in July 2019 as part of a free-agent blitz that featured former All-NBA center DeAndre Jordan. Jordan was dealt by the Nets in September. As a result, he was able to buy out his contract with the Detroit Pistons and join the Los Angeles Lakers, who had a comparable senior roster. If Smith’s sources are correct, though, Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks was never as enamored with Irving as Durant was. However, signing Kyrie was a condition of acquiring KD.
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have always been a two-for-one proposition.
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving rumored to be teaming up as free agents in 2019 started well before the 2018–19 season. Based on their experience together at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Jordan was also included in the mix.
Durant’s power play simply followed a pattern that began almost a decade ago with the Miami Heat, when LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade teamed up. According to Yahoo Sports, the collaboration began during another Olympic Games, the 2008 Beijing Games.
Smith stated on SiriusXM NBA Radio that the Nets only signed Irving because he was the key to get Durant.
Smith said, “The Brooklyn Nets were never thrilled with bringing Kyrie on to begin with.” “They did it because they knew Kevin Durant desired it. And Kevin Durant is such a close friend of Kyrie’s that when Kyrie said, ‘Yo, dude, Brooklyn’s the place, not the New York Knicks,’ KD replied, ‘Cool.’
To put it another way, if the Nets want to retain Durant, they must keep him pleased. As a result, Irving will remain.
Smith brings up the possibility of a Brooklyn Nets-Philadelphia 76ers deal.
One of the few clubs not connected to a Simmons deal is the Brooklyn Nets. On ESPN’s First Take on Sept. 22, Smith said that Brooklyn was prepared to trade Irving to the 76ers in exchange for Simmons. That is, until Durant stepped out of his enormous shoe:
“Here’s something else that could’ve occurred! It’s possible that Kyrie would have ended up in Philadelphia. Sean Marks couldn’t do it because KD wouldn’t let him. KD was having none of it. ‘Kyrie Irving ain’t going no damn where!’ KD exclaims. Let me tell you something right now: Philadelphia may have said no, but I promise you, I assure you, the Brooklyn Nets would be interested in making that trade if it weren’t for Kevin Durant.”
Smith did not provide a timeline for the possible transaction. However, it’s no secret that the 76ers have been looking for a perimeter shooter to complement Joel Embiid. Simmons has never been that kind of person.
Durant, on the other hand, believes Irving is critical to Brooklyn’s ambitions. Enough so that he agreed to a long-term contract deal with the Nets this summer.
According to Kevin Durant, Irving is the most important component of a Brooklyn Nets title.
Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets allegedly rejected a potential trade that would have sent Kyrie Irving (R) to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Ben Simmons (L). | Getty Images/Mitchell Leff
Isiah Thomas, a Hall of Fame point guard, recently made headlines when he said that the Brooklyn Nets couldn’t win a championship without Irving.
According to a tweet from Larry Brown Sports’ Steve DelVecchio, Kevin Durant responded to Thomas’ claim on Instagram with a single word: “Fact.”
During the NBA Playoffs, the Nets presented the champion Milwaukee Bucks with their most serious challenge. They forced Game 7 of the Eastern Conference playoffs against the Bucks to overtime. Durant was the one who performed the most heavy lifting, carrying Brooklyn through his ailments. During the first four games of the series, James Harden missed all but 43 seconds. Irving then fell down in the first half of Game 4 and was out for the rest of the series.
Smith said it succinctly:
“Harden and KD would be enough [to win a championship] in the case of the Brooklyn Nets, but KD wouldn’t be pleased if Kyrie walked away, and it can’t be because the Brooklyn Nets pushed him away,” Smith added. “It’s basically in Kyrie’s hands now.”
The Brooklyn Nets, according to Kevin Durant, must ride with Irving. The Nets’ optimism rests on that conviction, as they enter the season as preseason favorites to capture their first NBA championship.
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