Last year many expected to see the beginning of the NBA’s next big rivalry between the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers as the teams had the NBA’s most star-studded squads. But the Nets’ biggest rival ended up being in their own conference. That rival being Giannis Antetokounmpo and the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks eliminated the Nets in the Eastern Conference Semifinals en route to their first NBA title since 1971. On October 8, the Bucks will return to Barclays Center for the first time since eliminating the Nets in Game 7.
“Scary Hours” has long been the phrase coined to define the Nets “Big 3” of James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant. But as the Bucks prepare to return to Barclays Center as the defending champions, they are insisting that the real “scary hours” reside in Milwaukee as per the Bucks official Twitter account.
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Kevin Durant Wants Kyrie To Remain on Nets
When the Nets face off against the Bucks for the first time this season, the team will have a complexion similar to the last time they played Milwaukee. That being that Kyrie will not be on the floor with them. In fact, he will not even be allowed in the building as he still has yet to receive the coronavirus vaccine. Kyrie’s co-star Durant realizes how important he will be to the Nets winning a championship and is looking forward to the day he can rejoin the Nets full-time.
“I want him to be part of this group. He’s a special, special player and person and we want him to be part of this group,” Durant said per Alex Schiffer of “The Athletic.” “But a lot of stuff is out of our control, and we’ll let him figure that out for himself. But that doesn’t mean I’m gonna say that I don’t want him on the team, you know what I’m saying? He’s a huge part of what we do. But guys have got to step up in his absence, be who they are, and move forward.”
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Kevin Durant Sounds off on Kyrie’s Absence
Durant also respects that Kyrie’s decision on whether or not to get vaccinated is a personal choice and he will have to make that call when he is ready. But for now, Durant and the rest of his teammates will have to proceed without Kyrie.
“I’m not really trying to get too involved in it, because I mean it’s far bigger than myself and each one of us individually,” Durant continued. “This is one man’s personal decision on his well-being. So, I’ve got to sit back and just observe and see what’s happening and keep coming in here and practice every day and going every rep. I think everybody has that mentality.”
The irony in all of this is that the term “scary hours” is what Harden dubbed the Nets trio as they awaited Kyrie’s return from his personal leave last season. Now the Nets are faced with a comparable situation less than a year later. Kyrie will miss his first home game of the year against the Bucks in the preseason. It will be interesting to see if he sits out any regular-season games.