Kevin Durant on Kyrie Irving, James Harden: 'I Get That People Want Me to Feel a Way'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 26, 2022

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) reacts as his team trails during the second half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics, Monday, April 25, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
AP Photo/John Minchillo

Despite a disappointing 2021-22 season for the Brooklyn Nets, Kevin Durant doesn't hold any grudges toward current or former teammates. 

"Life is too amazing for me to be that upset," Durant said after Monday's season-ending loss to the Boston Celtics, per Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. "I get that people want me to feel a way."

The Nets were expected to be a top contender for the NBA title thanks to the trio of Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden. Irving missed much of the year because he wasn't vaccinated against COVID-19 and couldn't play home games under New York City's regulations, while Harden seemingly forced a trade to the Philadelphia 76ers in February.

Brooklyn suffered on the court and needed the play-in tournament to make the playoffs. Boston then eliminated the Nets in a first-round sweep.

Durant maintained he wasn't mad about Harden's departure.

"I wish it was different," he said. "I can't say I was that emotional."

He also clarified that the season didn't affect his relationship with Irving.

"Our friendship is based off who we are as human beings," Durant said. "The basketball adds to it. If we don't get along on the basketball court, we can easily talk it out as friends."

Durant was almost a one-man show in the Game 4 defeat, scoring 39 points with nine assists and seven rebounds in the 116-112 loss. The forward averaged a team-high 26.3 points per game in the series, although he shot just 38.6 percent.

The question is what happens next for the Nets. Irving could become a free agent if he declines his player option. Ben Simmons also has question marks after missing the entire 2021-22 season.

Durant apparently holds no harsh feelings from the disappointing season, however, which could allow the squad to run it back with a similar core next year.

"I don't really plan on going anywhere," Irving told reporters Monday.

Durant is signed through the 2025-26 season.