"It was something that I couldn't really explain at the time because personally, I don't think I was acknowledging the things that were surrounding my life as well and how to lead this group of guys that I was traded to", Irving said. "He was out 31 days and we put him on a national stage to end up selling a product that came before the person, Kevin". "It's usually the oldest teams in the league that make it there every single year because they don't have to deal with the same youthful expectations that are unrealistic for players that really have to earn different things in this league to be at that level-including myself".
Though Durant appears to be progressing well, fans still shouldn't expect to see him suit up for a game this season, as Nets general manager Sean Marks already shut down that possibility, something Durant himself echoed at media day. "We all know that, whether people want to admit it or not", Irving said. He said he responded to the loss in ways that are "uncharacteristic" of his usual behavior and noted that he didn't take proper measures to cope with the death. "Like, 'Hey, just keep being a basketball player.' So, throughout that year, just became rocky and a lot of the battles that I thought I could battle through from the team environment, I just wasn't ready for".
As the Celtics struggled on and off the court last season, their putative leader, Irving, publicly offered little insight as to why relations on the team were strained - even as many suggested he was part of the issue.
Irving added, "anyone to infiltrate that circle of 'Hey K, do you".
"The joy I had for [basketball] was sucked away for me", Irving said. Asked about his talks with Durant and Irving, and his eventual decision, he joked about it being boring compared to a previous one in free agency. He also accepts that he did not give his best and was distracted following the death of his grandfather in October a year ago.
The Nets lost in the first round of the playoffs last season. "We were all internally trying to be great and I don't think we were trying to be great as a team to meet at the top".
He could've just stuck with his claims elsewhere during the presser that his "home life has way higher precedence than the organization or anyone"- his home is in New Jersey, he sure as hell wasn't going to the Knicks, ergo the Nets made a lot of sense.