Kyrie Irving made big headlines throughout the 2021-22 NBA season — but not exactly because of his work on the floor, as it wasn't until January that he suited up for the Nets. Before then, he drew a lot of attention regardless.
Having refused to comply with the New York City vaccine mandate for private employers, Irving stood on the sidelines for the first half of the season. The team could have counted on Kyrie for away games, but it was unwilling to have him only on a part-time role.
The Nets eventually gave in and welcomed Irving back even if he couldn't play in Brooklyn. But there was some point in which they reportedly considered parting with him, until Kevin Durant stepped in.
Rumor: Kevin Durant Stopped Nets From Trading Kyrie Irving
According to Rich Bucher of FOX Sports, the Nets were ready to move Irving halfway through last season. However, they reportedly backed out when Durant stood up for him, telling the team not to trade Kyrie:
“I’m told that they wanted to trade Kyrie midway through this past season, and Kevin Durant told them absolutely not. And they went along with it. Now, I’ve also been told while they’re still good friends that maybe KD doesn’t value him quite the same way as a teammate. I’m not so sure about that.”
Kevin Durant Has 'Checked Out' of Brooklyn
"These are two individuals (Sean Marks and Steve Nash) that there's a level of displeasure towards, that there might even be a level, like, get these guys out of there. But to actually make that direct ultimatum, that was not something that happened before this weekend. And I think once that happened, it's clear that mentally, emotionally, like he's checked out, like he's not there in Brooklyn," Shams Charania said on the Pat McAfee Show. "And so, that's what I think has created all of this."
Despite the efforts the team has made through the years to tailor the roster the way he wanted, Durant made it clear he wants out of Brooklyn. Now it appears to be a matter of time before he finds a new home.