Yet in 2021, he is the star with a sidekick in James Harden.
The supposed third member, Kyrie Irving, refuses to get a COVID-19 vaccine and thus cannot play in New York City.
The Nets are still 10-5 on the year, but Tuesday night’s loss at home to the Golden State Warriors may have proved the Nets need Irving back to win it all.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith went all in on Durant and the Nets in a wild rant that must be heard.
"Kevin Durant, I'm sad for you bro. … You have no help. And more importantly than anything else, you made the wrong decision by going to Brooklyn. … KYRIE IRVING BETRAYED YOU!"@stephenasmith LOST IT 😳😳 pic.twitter.com/gjw5tAZVcO
— First Take (@FirstTake) November 17, 2021
Smith is known for his antics, but is he wrong?
Nets Just Not The Same Team
The Nets are going to have a tough time winning it all if Irving does not return this season.
Steph Curry just went into Brooklyn and SMACKED James Harden AND Kevin Durant.
Best player in the world.
— Ben Stinar (@BenStinar) November 17, 2021
As Smith points out, Harden is just not the same player right now.
Averaging nearly 20 points per game is a solid stat for most NBA players, but not one of Harden’s caliber.
He needs to step up and be a true 1-2 punch alongside Durant.
Let’s get to the best point of Smith’s rant which is when he declares that Irving betrayed Durant.
That is a strong statement because this COVID vaccine requirement was only put in place this year.
However, everyone else on the Nets got theirs so they could help the team chase a championship.
Durant now has to wonder why Irving is the odd man out in what should be a great situation to win a title.
Durant is 33 years old and is scoring nearly 29 points per game.
But the clock is ticking for his pursuit of another championship and if Irving goes back on his desire to help the Nets chase one, Smith is right that Durant made the wrong choice.