Kyrie Irving made his decision - and that decision has consequences.
Those consequences don't only land on Irving, they could impact the health of those around him (unvaccinated people are more likely to both get and spread the coronavirus).
Those consequences absolutely land on his Brooklyn Nets teammates, who will tip off the season Tuesday night in Milwaukee without him. Kevin Durant isn't mad about that, he doesn't see the point - KD wants to focus on the season, and he is "positive" things will work out.
"I wish none of this stuff would happen, but this is the situation that we are in. Kyrie made his decision on what he wanted to do and he chose to do what he wanted to do, and the team did the same. It's on me to just focus on me, and do my job, and let those two parties handle that situation. I want our whole team together, and I want us to be at full strength, but sometimes it don't work out that way.
"But I am still positive that things will work out the best for both parties."
Irving's rambling "explanation" of his decision on Instagram Live Wednesday night showed him to believe himself to be an iconoclast (albeit one without a focused cause). Durant is right, Irving is not in a place where his teammates can change his mind right now.
Durant and that veteran Nets roster also understand they are still serious title contenders without Irving and need to just focus on the season in front of them - they know these opportunities are too rare and precious to squander.
Irving's comments also left the door open to his return down the line. That probably happens (better than 50/50 chance is my guess, although predict Irving's thinking at your own risk). At some point this season, Irving will probably believe he made his point/find a way to save face, and return to the Nets.
Durant will be there when it happens, not mad, just wanting to focus on the game - and winning a ring.
Check out more on the Nets
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Durant on Kyrie Irving: "I am still positive that things will work out the best" originally appeared on NBCSports.com