It’s not championship or bust this year in Brooklyn.
The Nets are currently the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, and a few losses can have them fighting for a spot in the play-in tournament.
They have one of the best teams constructed as far as rosters and personnel goes, but due to injuries, trades, and vaccines, those advantages have not translated into a successful season thus far. Things aren’t on the up-and-up for Brooklyn right now, but Kevin Durant isn’t worried.
Durant, who scored 37 points in a Monday night win over the Utah Jazz, recently stated that everyone in the Brooklyn Nets organization has come to an understanding that talented guard Kyrie Irving will not be getting vaccinated.
Though everyone is questioning the Nets’ chances of competing for a championship if Kyrie isn’t allowed to play in New York, KD is not worried and still has high aspirations for Brooklyn winning championships in the future.
"We love Kyrie as a human being, I don't think we were ever upset at him as much as people on the outside were. We get that it may affect the outcome of some basketball games, but that's not the only reason why we love Kyrie…”
— Joe (@Joe_Makar) March 21, 2022
“But to be honest, I signed here for five years to play. You know what I’m saying? Looking at, obviously this year’s important, but no matter what happens this year I still want to do it again. And again. I want to continue to play, have this group together as long as we can. So, short term, we can focus on that for sure, but we also looking at the big picture of things too,” KD said.
Expressing how he feels this season, and that he understands this season has obviously not gone the way he and the rest of Brooklyn expected it to go, but that he’s here for the long run and plans on playing for championships in Brooklyn for years to come with Kyrie and the rest of the team.
That may be overly optimistic banter to some, considering both KD and Kyrie’s injury history, but Durant is invested and continues to talk about the future of the Nets from his perspective.
“I’m not guaranteeing that we get a championship, but I just like what we’re building. And I’m not going to say this is the only year we’ve got an opportunity to fight and work towards something. I don’t think next year we’ve got to start all the way over and try to figure out what’s the next iteration of the Nets. I feel like we can just build on what we have and see what happens. We got guys that are committed and want to be here.” Durant said.
He is very aware of the position his team is currently in and how they may not be able to contend under the circumstances for a championship. But he’s clearly committed for the long term.
They have a group of younger guys that can mesh very well with the superstar talent of KD, Kyrie and Ben Simmons if and when he recovers from the reported herniated disk in his back.
Thanks to that deal that bought Simmons here, they have good role play from Andre Drummond and Seth Curry as well.
Patty Mills and Goran Dragic are great veterans that provide experience and bench scoring. With KD and the New York lifestyle, Brooklyn is going to be a very attractive destination for free agents to come and compete for a championship.
Down the line, KD has high expectations for this team and hopes for good things to come. While KD and Kyrie are holding their breath in hopes of a change on the New York vaccine mandate, they know what’s going on and are fully prepared to play and compete moving forward with an eye on the future.