During the 2018-19 campaign, Brooklyn Nets All-Star Kevin Durant, then a member of the champion Golden State Warriors, had dinner with teammate Kyrie Irving, who was a member of the Boston Celtics at the time and the two All-Stars had a conversation that led to them making potential career-altering decisions.
According to Matt Sullivan’s book “Can’t Knock The Hustle” — which is slated to release on June 22 — Irving, at his home in Weston, MA told Durant of his desire to leave Boston and how great it would be if the two of them teamed up in Brooklyn to lead the Nets.
Durant On Kyrie in Boston: ‘He Didn’t Like What His Situation Was And Me Either in Golden State’
This dinner supposedly took place the night before January 25’s Celtics-Warriors game at TD Garden.
“He didn’t like what his situation was,” KD later said, and me either in Golden State,” Sullivan wrote in his book, via FoxSports.com. “And it was just like, ‘Hey, man, let’s just see how this would work. Let’s try it out.’ And DJ wanted to play with us to be that center for us that can kinda hold it down, and play for something, really — play for a team that’s going somewhere, not just keep moving around and bouncing around to leave.”
That summer, Durant inked a four-year, $164 million deal with the Nets.
“That night in the suburbs, he even ate a vegan burger for the first time. “I could f*** with this,” he said, per Sullivan, via FoxSports.com. “A superteam was starting to be formed.”
Durant, who had already gained experience in making the controversial move of leaving one title-contending team for another via free agency, admittingly grew numb to backlash.
Kevin Durant Trashes Warriors’ Draymond Green, Steve Kerr
After Oklahoma City Thunder’s fanbase threw dirt on Durant’s name for his controversial signing — months after the Thunder blew a 3-1 lead against the Warriors in the 2016 NBA playoffs — he’d grown numb to the criticism but then, admitted in this tell-all book that he didn’t like the direction in which Golden State was heading toward.
“KD told a confidant that he didn’t think the Warriors would get any better if Steve Kerr couldn’t hold Draymond Green accountable for his outbursts, and that he was occasionally irked when Steph got so much attention from the media and from fans,” Sullivan wrote, per FoxSports.com. “Kyrie and KD, on the cups of free agency, shared a loner’s longing to settle down but look straight ahead.”
This ultimately made Durant’s decision to leave the Warriors and join forces with Irving in Brooklyn a no-brainer.
“KD and Kyrie went upstairs to the playroom, shared a vegan smoothie, shot a Nerf ball into a toy hoop and played NBA2K,” Sullivan wrote of Durant’s visit at Irving’s home in 2019, per FoxSports.com. “Controlling miniature versions of themselves and their teammates, like marionettes, they wondered how else they could string together a team that was going somewhere. “And from that point,” Kyrie said, “we took the power back and put it in our hands.”
The Nets, currently leading the Milwaukee Bucks 3-2 in their best-of-7 series, is one win away from punching their ticket into the Eastern Conference finals.