The Brooklyn Nets wrapped up their preseason schedule with a regulation 107-101 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Barclays Center. The win improved the team to 3-1 in the preseason, though the win did take a backseat to postgame media.
It would be the first time the Nets' superstar Kevin Durant would speak to the media after the Nets made the decision to not allow Kyrie Irving back unless he is eligible on Tuesday and Irving's Instagram live on Wednesday night.
Asked multiple questions about Irving, Durant answered all of them with poise.
MORE: Why Nets may not offer Irving the max
Last season, Irving averaged 26.9 points and six assists while shooting 50-40-90 from the field. How would the Nets make up for that kind of a loss?
"Over time, we are going to start to figure out which guys going to step up and play, fill that void, those minutes, those shots and those opportunities."
"When you're losing someone like Kyrie Irving, on the fly it's hard to figure out where you're going to get that production from"- Nets Videos (@SNYNets) October 15, 2021
Kevin Durant talks about the adjustments the Nets are making without Kyrie Irving pic.twitter.com/xFKV7SLSEh
Clarifying that he hadn't spoken to Irving since the team's announcement, Durant indicated that he wasn't upset with the team's starting point guard.
"What is being mad gonna do? It's not gonna change his mind."
"What is being mad going to do? We're not going to change his mind...life is amazing so I can't be too mad at somebody making a decision for themselves"- Nets Videos (@SNYNets) October 15, 2021
Kevin Durant explains why the Nets aren't upset about Kyrie Irving being absent from the Nets pic.twitter.com/QFBwDMWXly
Nets head coach Steve Nash, who had been answering Irving-related questions in every media interaction since Media Day, voiced a similar mentality of focusing on what's important with with the available players.
"I think I have pretty much said everything I had to say about it," Nash said while stating that he hadn't listened to Irving's Instagram Live. "I really want to focus on moving forward."
While Nash, James Harden, KD and the Nets are all attempting to stay focused on their goal of the season - to win a championship - with the roster they have available, all of them would be happy to have Irving back.
Durant, who signed along with Irving in Brooklyn in 2019, was 'positive' about things moving forward between the Nets and the star point guard.
"I definitely want Kyrie to be around...Kyrie made his decision on what he wanted to do...and the team did the same. It's on me to just focus on me and do my job" - Kevin Durant- Nets Videos (@SNYNets) October 15, 2021
Durant says he's "positive" things will work out between Irving & the Nets pic.twitter.com/lV0t1DFRjI
The Nets now have four days off before they tip their season on opening night in Milwaukee against the defending champions. Having played all of the preseason without Irving, they should be well prepared but will the team remain legitimate title contenders if he was to miss all season? Nash believes so but only time will tell.
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