You probably know this by now. In a blockbuster deal, Kyrie Irving was sent to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and Brooklyn Nets 2018 first round draft pick. Since Kyrie Irving requested a trade a few weeks ago, there were lots of people unimpressed by his move and desire to be “the man”. Kevin Durant has an opposite opinion. On The Bill Simmons Podcast (transcript by The Ringer) he expressed his appreciation for Irving’s move saying “He did what he was supposed to do in Cleveland. It’s on to the next chapter. I can really appreciate what he did. He stood up for himself, he showed a lot of courage, man, because it’s hard to take that type of criticism. When you just want to play ball. I feel him on that.“
Durant also said Kyrie reminds him of himself and that he can relate to the stuff Kyrie was going through before the trade: “Kyrie reminds me of myself, just from the outside looking in. I may be wrong on all these things, but from the outside looking in, I’ve been around him for a month or so, he reminds me of myself as far as just loving to play the game, just wanting to learn it and try to get better at it every day. I can feel that, I can sense that in him.“
Talking about Irving’s new team, the Boston Celtics, Kevin Durant thinks Kyrie is a perfect fit. “It’s a perfect system for him in Boston; it’s a perfect fit. Because he’s a 6-foot-3 Isaiah Thomas, basically, and Isaiah just thrived in that system, and then he got Gordon Hayward and Al Horford, who are gonna be able to make plays for him, too. It’s gonna be pretty sweet. I think it was a great deal. But I just think Kyrie just wanted a place where he can focus on just playing basketball and not worrying about the other drama that comes with.“
You can check out the entire Bill Simmons Podcast featuring Kevin Durant on this link.
Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016, becoming a free agent and eventually signing with the Golden State Warriors. He led them to an NBA Finals win over Cleveland Cavaliers, earning himself NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in the process.