Can Durant and Irving make this work?

Either this pairing works out or it becomes a disaster with these two combustible personalities.

The Nets will be aired 19 times this season on national television for a reason: Kevin Durant. All you need to know there.

So much intrigue about whether Durant can be the player he was after he ruptured his right Achilles in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals that cost him and the Golden State Warriors a chance to three-peat as NBA champions.

I am curious to know how Durant and Kyrie Irving can play together and make all of this work. This should be the $164 million question heading to this season. Much has been anticipated about those two since they signed with the Nets last summer, and now we finally find out how those two complement each other.

The Nets better hope it works out. They spent a fortune to get those two in an attempt to be an NBA title contender and be relevant in our sports town.


Everyone assumes Irving and Durant will work out, but many question marks need to be answered before we can believe it. Can those two coexist? Can they deal with each other based on their mercurial personality? Will Durant tolerate Irving’s insecurity? Can the Nets point guard deal with Durant being all over him when the going gets tough?

Both will play nice for now just to prove a point to the critics. They know all eyes are on them, and they realize everyone wants this to fail since both guys are unlikeable. But if the Nets get off to a horrible start or if they underachieve, it will be interesting how this dynamic works. It’s easy to talk a good game now before the tipoff starts.

Durant comes off as a guy who hates playing basketball and treats this as a job the way a FedEx employee hustles to keep pace with the packages sent in his or her direction. Irving portrays himself as a thinking man when in reality he comes off as a guy from outer space. No one knows what to expect out of the Nets point guard on any given day. For all we know, he could snap on a whim.

Durant can be miserable, and he can suck the life out of his own teammates. It was telling the Warriors did not miss being around him this past season despite a 15-50 season that helped them land the No. 2 draft pick in James Wiseman. If Irving gets turned off by Durant, it may be over with those two.

Irving can never be happy. He is so troubled that one wonders if he has a disorder. He is so troubled that it’s scary. He played with LeBron James in Cleveland, and he was not happy to the point he orchestrated a trade to the Boston Celtics just to get away from LeBron. Then, he was miserable with the Boston Celtics despite them making effort to make him happy by making the offense run through him.

Why should anyone think it will be different this time around now that he is playing with Durant? Do you know the saying about a leopard never changes its spots? That’s Irving. He is who he is at this point in his life. He’s not changing for anyone, and he certainly won’t for Durant.

This makes all of this interesting when both play together on the same team. Adversity will strike this season. How both handle it will determine their future together and the Nets as a whole.

No one knows how it will work out. Even the Nets don’t know. First-year Nets head coach Steve Nash hopes for the best, especially since his coaching tenure depends on those two making it work. Durant and Irving claim they can make it work, but they don’t even know how this will work out.

If the Nets had their druthers, they wouldn’t even sign Irving. They know all about his problems but they signed him because that was the only way to get Durant. This was a package deal, which makes all of this interesting how it turns out.

This goes without saying no one knows how Durant will really be after the surgery and Irving being injury-prone.

This pairing could end up being great or bad. There won’t be an in-between with those two headstrong personalities.

All of this makes it so interesting.

The Upstate Courier is an owned and operated property of Rossiter Media Group.


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