The 2022/23 season might be the last chance for the Brooklyn Nets’ superstar duo, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, to win an NBA championship together. The two superstars joined forces in Brooklyn in 2019, each one for his own purposes.
Irving wanted to win his second championship without being outshined by anyone. It was more than clear that the 2015 championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers was the greatest feat of LeBron James in his illustrious career.
Even though Irving was as important as LeBron was that year, the King’s magnitude outshined everyone’s efforts. Being the first superstar to sign with the Nets, he wanted to step up and get a ring as a team leader.
On the other hand, Kevin Durant had much less to prove. Every doubt there was for him, once he left the Thunder to sign with the Golden State Warriors, was swept away with back-to-back championships and back-to-back Finals MVP award. Kevin Durant sought a new challenge in his career and Brooklyn gave him all he needed.
Until now, the Nets have not met expectations. To begin with, the 2019/20 season was a lost case. Durant missed the whole season due to his serious injury. The same goes for Irving, who had surgery in the second part of the season.
Brooklyn targeted the years to come, but they have failed so far. In 2021, they came close to the Conference Finals, but lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 7 overtime.
This year, the team never played to its maximum. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Kyrie Irving, who did not get vaccinated, missed a total of 52 games, while Kevin Durant missed another 21 games.
More than that, the decision of Harden to leave the team for the Sixers messed the chemistry of the team, which got eventually swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.
“Uncle Drew” decided to stay with the Nets for the final year of his contract, worth $36.9M. Kevin Durant has already extended his contract with the Nets up to 2026.
The year to come is the year where the duo must focus only on playing the game. There is no doubt that both Irving and Durant are two of the best players around.
But, this is the year where they have to prove they still have the lust and the will to get another championship. Hopefully we will see it soon.