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Kyrie Irving believes Kevin Durant’s trade request helped improve the Brooklyn Nets

Many people are skeptical that the Nets offseason tension will come back to bite them this season, and it will be interesting to see if Irving's positive outlook for Brooklyn lasts throughout the year
Kyrie Irving believes Kevin Durant’s trade request helped improve the Brooklyn Nets

Kevin Durant & Kyrie Irving

The Brooklyn Nets had a fairly turbulent offseason, but they still managed to emerge from it as one of the top Finals contenders in the NBA. A big reason for that is because of their trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons. But for a long stretch of the offseason, it felt unlikely that we would ever see this trio play together. Now, they control just how successful the Nets' upcoming season will be.

Irving has an interesting perspective on Durant's trade request

Early in the offseason, Durant requested a trade from the Nets, and Irving tried to force his way onto the Los Angeles Lakers. Neither player had success getting themselves off of the Nets, and they eventually resigned to the fact that they would have to suit up for Brooklyn again this season, which instantly made the Nets a Finals contender again.

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Many are interested to see how the Nets look this season, as the belief is that the tension throughout the organization this offseason could destroy this year's team. But that's not how Irving sees things. Irving believes that Durant's trade request may not have looked great for the Nets initially but ultimately resulted in the Nets becoming a better team heading into the 2022-23 season.

"When Kev made that request, I feel like we got better. Afterwards. Not initially, but now where we are now, I feel like we can honestly say we got better, with the principles that are needed for success. Without going through some tests in the summertime or during the season, we wouldn't be able to be as close and bonded as we are now." - Kyrie Irving, The Athletic

Could the Nets be better off because of Durant's trade request?

Irving's opinion on the matter is certainly unique, and who could blame folks for believing the Nets are a ticking time bomb waiting to blow up? Durant is playing, yes, but he also made it clear he wanted both Steve Nash and Sean Marks fired this offseason. That's not something that you can quickly come back from. Irving also did his part by making it clear he intended to join the Lakers after this upcoming season, regardless of what happens this season.

From the outside looking in, the Nets look fragile to say the least. They have a ton of talent, but it remains to be seen whether that talent can lead to wins or whether they will even want to work together. Irving and Durant have only played 44 regular season games together during their three years in Brooklyn. For their fortunes to change, that number will need to increase dramatically this season.

Irving believes that overcoming these issues has made Brooklyn a better team. But until this team proves they can work together and win on the court, people will be skeptical, and reasonably so. It will be interesting to see if the Nets can make good on their Finals expectations like Irving expects them to or if they end up self-destructing for the second straight season.

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