Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving remain focused on winning an NBA title with the Brooklyn Nets, and the two superstars have not drifted apart despite Durant requesting a trade earlier this summer.
"The one guy with the Nets that Kevin Durant had remained in communication with, from everything I've been told, was Kyrie Irving," The Athletic and Stadium's Shams Charania said Wednesday on The Rich Eisen Show. "That was the one guy that he was communicating with on a regular basis. ...That relationship goes beyond just basketball."
Durant rescinded his trade request earlier this week after meeting with Nets head coach Steve Nash and owner Joe Tsai. The team announced that the two sides would "move forward with our partnership."
Durant requested a trade from the Nets on June 30 and reiterated his desire to be dealt in a meeting with Tsai in London earlier this month, according to ESPN. At the time, he chose Tsai to choose between him and the combination of Nash and general manager Sean Marks.
It's unclear what made Durant decide to change his mind.
The franchise also had to deal with Irving, who created a list of teams he would have liked to be moved to this summer. He was reportedly very interested in reuniting with LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers.
Irving decided to opt in to his player option for the 2022-23 season and is committed to moving forward with the Nets, Charania reported earlier this month. The franchise also begun telling teams earlier this week it intended to keep Irving, per Charania.
With both players set to return, they will fulfill the promise they made to the Nets when they decided to team up ahead of the 2019-20 season.
Durant, who missed the 2019-20 campaign with a torn Achilles, and Irving have shared the court together over the last two seasons. However, they have failed to bring the Nets to the NBA Finals.
In 2021, the Nets were eliminated in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. In 2022, they were swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round.
However, injuries and Irving's inability to play in many of Brooklyn's home games last season due to New York City's COVID-19 vaccine for indoor arenas, which has since been lifted, limited the team mightily.
If Durant, Irving and Ben Simmons can remain healthy in 2022-23, the Nets should have a solid chance to reach the Eastern Conference Finals. However, it won't be easy with teams like the Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat expected to contend for a title.