Kyrie Irving blasts Nets after Kevin Durant traded him to Suns: ‘I’m glad he’s out of there’

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A blockbuster trade that would send Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns shocked the sports world early Thursday morning and closed the book on the failure of an era for the organization.

The Nets have agreed to trade Durant and TJ Warren to the Suns for Cam Johnson, Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks and additional draft compensation, according to multiple reports. The reported deal came days after Brooklyn sent Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks.

Irving, who made his debut with the Mavericks on Saturday night, delivered one last jab at Brooklyn after being asked what he thought of the reported deal.

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Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving, right, dribbles as Los Angeles Clippers guard Terance Mann defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, in Los Angels. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

He explained that he was happy for his former teammate, and that he and Durant discussed the future and wanted to be in «places where we could thrive.»

«This business changes so fast,» Irving said, via The Dallas Morning News. «He’s a little older; I’m a little older. I love the competition now that we can be in the same conference and I welcome all of that. I’ll see him a little more, probably playing him.» Phoenix much more.

«That’s what I’m looking forward to. Everything else in between, I’m glad it got out of there.»

Kyrie Irving, #2 of the Dallas Mavericks, at Crypto.com Arena on February 8, 2023 in Los Angeles.

Kyrie Irving, #2 of the Dallas Mavericks, at Crypto.com Arena on February 8, 2023 in Los Angeles. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

KEVIN DURANT FROM BROOKLYN NETS AS TRADED TO PHOENIX SUNS

Brooklyn brought Durant in simultaneously with Irving in the summer of 2019. The Nets signed a trade deal. However, Durant was recovering from a torn Achilles tendon and missed the 2019-20 season. Not to mention, the coronavirus pandemic ruined his recovery and he wouldn’t make his Brooklyn debut until midway through the 2020-21 season.

The Nets would make the playoffs in 2021 and 2022, but iterations of the «big three» with James Harden and Ben Simmons didn’t seem to help the team win more games. Brooklyn only made it as far as the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the few seasons their window to win was open.

Kyrie Irving, #11, speaks with Kevin Durant, #7 of the Brooklyn Nets, during Game 4 of Round 1 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs on April 25, 2022 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Kyrie Irving, #11, speaks with Kevin Durant, #7 of the Brooklyn Nets, during Game 4 of Round 1 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs on April 25, 2022 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Brooklyn and the eventual 2021 champion Milwaukee Bucks had a classic series, and if it weren’t for Durant’s foot on the line in the waning seconds of regulation in Game 7, things might have turned out differently.

Instead, injuries plagued the team last season and they were dominated by the Boston Celtics in the first round. Durant would request a trade in the offseason as the Nets would pursue Irving. Neither team took the bait until midseason.

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Now, Durant and Irving will be able to compete in a very tight Western Conference as Brooklyn recharges for the future with a very talented young roster.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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