The Brooklyn Nets had a pretty solid win on Sunday night, beating the reigning champions Golden State Warriors, 120-116.
It’s always impressive to beat the current champs but it was even more impressive for the Nets because they were doing so without their biggest star, Kevin Durant.
The rest of the team stepped up in Durant’s absence, especially Kyrie Irving who had a team-high 38 points, 7 rebounds, and 9 assists.
Kyrie: “A lot of things that happened throughout the season are in the rearview. I haven’t forgot about them, but it’s something that I don’t prioritize as much because the team is most important… I feel like we’re past that as an organization, as a team, and me individually."
— Erik Slater (@erikslater_) January 23, 2023
Following the game, Irving looked like a team leader when speaking of his crew and the road they’ve been on to get to this point.
“A lot of things have happened throughout the season are in the rearview,” Irving said.
“I haven’t forgot about them, but it’s something that I don’t prioritize as much because the team is most important,” he added.
He concluded, “I feel like we’re past that as an organization, as a team, and me individually.”
Hearing this come from Irving is a big deal because he hasn’t always seemed like the team player he claims to be now.
These are the comments and the mentality that the team has wanted from Irving ever since he joined a few seasons ago.
Instead, they have experienced a mercurial player who has stuck to his guns through thick and thin, leading to multiple controversies, headaches, and limited availability.
But it’s not just words – Irving seems to be backing this up with action.
Over his last 6 games, Irving has averaged 24.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 6.7 assists on 46.9% from the field.
The absence of Durant is still felt though: they have lost half of Irving’s last six games.
Now that Irving has made peace with what’s come before, can he help the team make some special for the road ahead?