Kevin Durant shies away from question about Kyrie Irving: ‘I don’t want to expose our relationship’

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

In a new profile, Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant expressed reluctance in discussing his relationship with former Brooklyn Nets teammate Kyrie Irving.

Logan Murdock of The Ringer looked at Durant’s current efforts to win an NBA title, while pondering his past, including his current relationship with Irving, which has been the subject of rumors.

“That’s something I’m going to keep internal,” Durant said. “I don’t want to expose our relationship. I think that’s deeper than basketball, but I wouldn’t say it was a problem. I didn’t think it was a problem.”

Durant and Irving both joined the Nets in 2019 and both were dealt elsewhere in February. Durant arrived as part of a sign-and-trade deal with the Golden State Warriors, while Irving was signed as a free agent.

One indication of how much talent Durant possesses can be seen by the fact that the Nets acquired Durant knowing that he’d be unavailable for the 2019-20 season after blowing out his Achilles.

While Durant and Irving were together in Brooklyn, the Nets also acquired guard James Harden. Yet, despite the convergence of the three superstars, the Nets were unable to make a deep playoff run and Harden was later dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Controversy also dogged Irving during the 2021-22 campaign. The key issue dealt with his adamant refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine, which kept him off the court for an extended period and frustrated Durant.

After that tumultuous season, Durant asked to be traded, an effort that went nowhere. However, soon after Irving asked for a trade and was dealt to the Dallas Mavericks, Durant was then sent in a blockbuster transaction to the Suns.

When Irving was acquired by the Mavericks, there was a belief that the team would be a strong contender for an NBA title. That vision soon fell apart and the Mavericks failed to even reach the postseason.

Durant’s insertion into the Suns’ lineup offered similar projections, though such visions can still potentially come true. Entering Tuesday night’s Game 5 playoff matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers, the Suns need just one more win to advance to the second round.

How close Durant has become with his current Suns’ teammates is uncertain. However, right now, all of those players are currently focused on trying to win the franchise’s first league title.

Two years ago, the Suns came agonizingly close before falling in the 2021 NBA Finals in six games to the Milwaukee Bucks. This season, Durant’s efforts figure to be a major part of whether that goal comes true.

For Irving, he’s set to again enter the free agent market during the offseason. While Durant’s immediate future is pretty well established, Irving can’t say the same.

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Brad has written on a variety of both NBA and NFL topics and has worked previously as a sports information director at the collegiate level. A lifetime fan of sports, he's witnessed countless great moments in different sports and understands that stories can be compelling from both the perspective of winners and losers. As a frustrated fan of Cleveland sports, he experienced something unprecedented when the Cavaliers won the city's first championship in 52 years.