Kevin Durant is backing his friend and teammate Kyrie Irving against criticism.
Durant appeared on the “Play for Keeps” podcast and defending Irving, who is frequently the subject of stories for things he says and does. Durant says that happens because Irving tells the “raw truth”.
“The truth can hurt a lot of people. When you tell the raw truth, especially in this society, it’s frowned upon. And Kyrie just tells it how it is,” Durant said on the podcast, via the New York Daily News. “There’s no sugar-coating it. If he walks into the gym one day and says, ‘I don’t like how this is going.’ It’s probably not going well. But he just doesn’t mind voicing it.”
Durant also says that the media used Irving for clicks when it came to the objections to the NBA restart in Orlando.
“In this situation with the NBPA, he wasn’t the only one who had problems with what was going with the NBPA. Everybody had concerns,” Durant said. “But obviously he’s Kyrie the biggest one. That’s going to sell papers especially at this time during the pandemic, nobody is getting paid. So if you have an opportunity to get some clicks, it’s easy to use Kyrie.”
Durant may say that, and perhaps there was some sensationalism going on, but Durant omits that Irving’s idea was also the most extreme. Irving reportedly was talking about starting a different league separate from the NBA. That’s why he got so much attention.
Of course, the players signed together to join the Brooklyn Nets last year, so it’s no surprise that Durant would have Irving’s back. Neither player is participating in the restart due to injuries. That was said to be a factor in Irving’s reported rebellious plan.
Did Kevin Durant take a shot at a WNBA player with a tweet he sent during the week? Some thought so.
Durant sent a tweet while presumably watching the New Orleans Pelicans-Utah Jazz game on Thursday and complimented Brandon Ingram’s playing ability.
Durant’s tweet did not reference Ingram by name, but instead by his jersey number.
While that is a fairly common way for sports fans to communicate about players whose games they are watching, Durant’s tweet came a day after a WNBA player objected to Andre Iguodala complimenting her by referencing her jersey number instead of her name.
So was Durant merely complimenting Ingram and nothing more was intended, or was he also trying to rub it in to Aerial Powers a day later? That’s up to you to decide.
Kevin Durant’s show “The Boardroom” has not been renewed after two seasons on ESPN+, the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reported on Tuesday.
Durant, along with his business partner Rich Kleiman and ESPN analyst Jay Williams, hosted the show. The program aimed to “bring fans behind the scenes of the modern boardroom, showcasing the evolution of sports business through the minds of athletes, sports executives and tech moguls alike.”
The show was created by Thirty Five Ventures, which is a business arm created by Durant and Kleiman.
Durant, 31, did not play this season and is not participating in the NBA’s restart in Orlando as he continues to recover from a torn Achilles tendon suffered during the NBA Finals last year. Durant is a 10-time All-Star, 2-time NBA Finals MVP and NBA champion, and won the 2013-2014 NBA MVP award. He publicized The Boardroom when announcing his decision last year to sign with the Brooklyn Nets.
The Brooklyn Nets are consulting with two of their best players in determining who will be their next head coach.
Nets GM Sean Marks says that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who were both signed last summer, are being consulted regarding the search.
“It would not be smart of us if we were not to involve some of these key players in this decision,” Marks said Friday on WFAN, via the New York Post’s Brian Lewis. “Kevin, Kyrie, we’re going to pick their brains on what they’re looking for in a leader, what they need. They’ve been brutally honest so far.”
Brooklyn fired Kenny Atkinson in early March, days before the NBA season went on hiatus. Jacque Vaughn has been installed as the team’s interim head coach and is being considered for the permanent gig.
The team consulting with Durant and Irving is no surprise. When you sign two big stars like Durant and Irving to your team, you’re going to build around them, and that includes getting a head coach that you hope works well them. Durant and Irving reportedly had some influence in the decision to get rid of Atkinson. As for Irving, he reportedly has made known his preference about who should get the job.
Saturday marked the four-year anniversary of Kevin Durant choosing to sign with the Golden State Warriors in free agency. One heckling fan reminded him of that via Twitter with a profane message. The user called Durant some names and called him “weak”, then said “have a cupcake and bask in the glory of your easy road efforts.”
Durant responded with a meme.
It’s truly a wonder why Durant even bothers with trolls like that, but he does and has been doing so for a while. At least this time he didn’t respond from his burner.
Durant changed NBA history when he chose to sign with the Warriors. He left Oklahoma City even though the Thunder had the Warriors on the ropes in the playoffs the season before. Golden State immediately became one of the most dominant teams ever and won consecutive championships. They were competing for a third title until injuries derailed them, including Durant suffering a torn Achilles tendon in the NBA Finals.
Durant decided to leave the Warriors and signed with Brooklyn last year. He has not played a game for the Nets yet but is still under contract with them for at least two more seasons.
Kevin Durant did not play this season and will not participate in the resumed NBA season in Orlando next month because he is still recovering from a torn Achilles tendon suffered during last year’s NBA Finals. But Durant believes he probably would not have played in the restart even if he were healthy.
Durant was on “Dawg Talk” for an interview published on Thursday and shared his stance.
“I probably wouldn’t have played because the unknown going into that situation looks crazy right now, seeing so many new cases,” Durant said. “It’s just so unpredictable. It’s easy for me to say right now because I’m injured, but I probably wouldn’t have went down there (to Orlando).
“If the guys feel safe enough to go play, that’s cool, I’m with them. If they don’t feel like they should go down there and play or don’t feel safe, I’m with them too. I’m all about what the group wants.
“Obviously, I would have talked to my teammates and consulted with my guys and actually really went over it for the last month and a half, but me, my gut would have told me nah, I probably wouldn’t want to go down there, especially after three months off.”
Durant seemed to express two concerns in his response: coronavirus cases and the possibility of injury after an extended layoff. The latter was a concern shared by at least another prominent player. Durant was among the Brooklyn Nets players to test positive for the coronavirus in March. Another one of his Nets teammates, Kyrie Irving, expressed concerns with the restart and actually rallied against it.
Kevin Durant still has some hard feelings towards Kendrick Perkins.
Perkins, a former NBA center and teammate of Durant, was on ESPN’s “Get Up” Wednesday to talk about the Kyrie Irving situation. Irving has been working against the NBA’s return to Orlando.
Perkins called Irving a “distraction” over the matter.
Durant is Irving’s friend and Brooklyn Nets teammate. He called Perkins a “sell out” in an Instagram comment and retweeted a video of Perkins airballing a shot during his Oklahoma City Thunder playing days.
Perkins has become known as a hyperbolic commentator since retiring, which is part of the reason why he gets a platform for sharing his commentary. He and Durant have had other beefs play out in recent years, but Perkins said a few months ago that he wanted to resolve things with his old teammate.
Apparently things aren’t resolved between them just yet, well, not since Perkins’ comments about Irving at least.
Kevin Durant has officially joined the realm of sports team owners, but he’s hoping that there’s a lot more to come.
The Brooklyn Nets star has purchased a five percent stake in MLS’s Philadelphia Union, with an option to purchase another five percent stake later. As part of the deal, the club will partner with Thirty Five Ventures, the philanthropic organization founded by Durant and business partner Rich Kleiman. That is meant to help grow the Union brand worldwide.
After the purchase was announced, Durant said that his dream is to own an NBA team, and this could be a good starting point to learning the ins and outs of ownership.
“I would love to,” Durant told Jeff Carlisle of ESPN. “[Owning an NBA team] is the goal, that’s the plan. But who knows? It’s a tough business to get into obviously. You need a lot of capital to do it. But I’m just learning the business, learning the sport, really keeping my love for the sport. I think that will lead me in the right direction. We’ll see what happens.”
Durant has always had a major interest in business matters. He’s talked about owning an NFL team too, and he even executive produces a streaming program called “The Boardroom” that focuses on sports business topics. It’s pretty clear where Durant’s ambitions are when his playing career ends.
The NBA has not been testing players for recreational drugs since the season was suspended, and that will continue even when play resumes in Orlando. Though he is not going to be suiting up for the Brooklyn Nets at all, Kevin Durant seems pleased about that.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Monday that the NBA is planning to test players for performance-enhancing drug use but will not administer tests for recreational drugs. Durant came across the news on Instagram and had a reaction that wasn’t all that subtle, as he commented with a flame emoji.
NBA players will have enough rules to follow while trying to isolate at Walt Disney World, so it makes sense that recreational drug use is not at the top of the priority list for the league. Collecting drug samples also results in more close contact with people, which is something all sports leagues are trying to avoid.
In any event, Durant and other players will have some freedom they are not typically accustomed to for however long the remainder of the 2019-20 season lasts.
H/T LBS reader Wardo
Kevin Durant officially is out for this season.
Durant did not play during the first part of the season prior to the suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There was some speculation that he could return during the resumed season, but he shut down that talk.
“My season is over,” Durant told The Undefeated. “I don’t plan on playing at all. We decided last summer when it first happened that I was just going to wait until the following season. I had no plans of playing at all this season.”
Durant is recovering from a torn Achilles tendon suffered during the NBA Finals last year. Even though he has had nearly a year of recovery, he is being patient and not pushing it.
“It’s just best for me to wait. I don’t think I’m ready to play that type of intensity right now in the next month. It gives me more time to get ready for next season and the rest of my career.”
Some wondered whether Durant rushed back from a calf injury to return in the NBA Finals last year and ended up tearing his Achilles tendon as a result. Whatever the case, Durant is being more cautious this year. His Brooklyn Nets teammate Kyrie Irving also will not be playing in the resumed season as he recovers from shoulder surgery.