Friedel: Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving’s friendship ‘not always as close as it seems’

One big question in any discussion about Kyrie Irving’s contract status – perhaps the biggest – is where does Kevin Durant stand? The two are great friends, maybe even best friends, and a bundle of time when they decided to join the Nets in the 2019 Clean Sweep.

Will Dr. K’s friendship turn the scales with his friend? Will he try to resolve any disagreements? The narrative is that the links are strong with some critics suggesting that if Irving leaves, Durant may not be far behind.

But Nick Friedel who has covered the Nets this season for ESPN says things may be more accurate than that. He discussed the situation Tuesday on SportsCenter, saying the Nets plan to sit down with Durant to assess his feelings before making any firm decisions, suggesting the sit-down has yet to take place.

At every turn publicly, [Kevin Durant] was there to support [Kyrie Irving], to say we need Keri, to say Kerry can win the title with me here in Brooklyn,” Friedel began. “But I can tell you, I’ve been talking to people in the organization for the past two weeks, when they finally sat down and talked to Kevin all summer, they’ve been trying to figure out Whether Kevin has seen what the others have seen. …the reason this whole season has gone awry is because they couldn’t count on Kyrie, and they didn’t know if he was going to go there.

“And the problem with Kevin is that he wants to win so badly, he wants to be loyal to his friend. But I am told that this relationship, while very close, is not always as close as it seems.”

How much do Nets and KD talk now? This question remains. A month ago, Christian Winfield reported that KD hadn’t spoken with the front office in several weeks. In response, league sources said Durant was taking annual leave after the season ended, this year after his friend and former Nets teammate Mike James sought to win the Euroleague.

Indeed, Friedel seems to have thought that the deep conversations between Durant on the one hand and Brain Trust in Nets on the other have not yet taken place.

“So this is a literal multi-million dollar question here, not just in the next week as we find out what Kyrie will do with this player choice, but moving forward because they don’t know if this is a dynamic duo that will hold up for the long haul. They want to get a clear answer from Kevin.

And we’ve been talking about it for months: Everything in that organization in Brooklyn revolves around Kevin Durant. If KD wants Kyrie back, he’ll come back. If KD checks out on ‘eh, I don’t know if it could work, and I don’t know Whether I can trust him there every night, ‘Kyrie might be somewhere else.

Durant has been active on Twitter in recent days, dodging with Charles Barkley and chatting with random NBA fans, but he has not spoken about Irving’s contract talks.

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