Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James have long been compared, because of the success that they have enjoyed on the court. Both LeBron and Durant have won multiple championships, multiple Finals Most Valuable Player awards and have faced off in the NBA Finals three times. But this year, LeBron and KD have been comparable to each other for the wrong reasons. Many fans expected LeBron and Durant to clash in the Finals for the fourth time as the Nets and Lakers were the pre-season favorites to come out of their respective conferences. But each had a tumultuous season which resulted in them getting sent home way earlier expected, and all they can do is look forward to next season.
The latest Nets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Nets newsletter here!
Steph Curry Reacts to Kevin Durant, LeBron Early Playoff Exits
As the second round of the NBA playoffs kicks off on May 1, two familiar faces will be missing in LeBron and Durant. However, Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors remain in contention and are among the favorites to win this year’s NBA title. Curry, who has gone to war against LeBron and KD, says that although the two stars have been eliminated early this year, he does not expect their early playoff exits to become a habit.
“Talent is at an all-time high across the board in the league. Seeing a little bit more parity now in terms of the teams that are making it to this stage in the playoffs. You’re still going to see those guys back, [LeBron], KD, all those guys you mentioned. It ain’t like they’re just going to ride into the sunset either,” Curry said per Mark Haynes of Clutch Points.
“It’s part of how the NBA has grown. The young core of guys coming in. You gotta understand that we were that team and those players at one point. The Tim Duncans the KGs and those guys that were trying to extend their primes and their careers for as long as they could when we were coming into our prime. It’s the natural evolution of sports. It’s a reminder of how difficult it is to win at the highest level.”
Ben Simmons Back Issues Could Be Mental Health Related
After making a blockbuster trade for Ben Simmons at February’s deadline, the 3-time All-Star was a no show for the Nets this season. A herniated disc in his back caused Simmons to have several setbacks, which delayed his debut for the Nets. According to Shams Charania of “The Athletic”, Simmons’ recurring back problems could be related to his mental health.
“According to sources, Simmons told those in the room that a mental block exists for him, dating in part to last summer’s postseason, which is creating stress that could serve as a trigger point for his back issues. He added that he does want to play basketball and play for the Nets as he works on solutions in regard to his well-being,” Charania wrote for “The Athletic” per NetsDaily.
“Many had hoped Simmons would find a way to make his debut amid a back issue as well. He made all of the necessary progressions in rehab and showed optimism about joining the team on the floor. That’s why, after a recovery process of starts, stops, delays and questions, the Nets and Simmons finally felt he was on the doorstep of a return. And it didn’t happen.”
The Nets have a busy offseason ahead of them as they will once again, try to build a title contender. It will be interesting to see how the roster looks at the beginning of next season.