Nets’ Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant’s ex-teams are thriving without them

In July 2019, Kyrie Irving bolted Boston for Brooklyn, and Kevin Durant left Golden State to join him. And in effect, the two created one of the most dangerous duos in NBA history.

Now, the Warriors are back in yet another NBA Finals, while the Celtics are going into Friday’s Game 6 up 3-2 and playing at home with a chance to join them. Meanwhile, Irving, Durant and the Nets have been on vacation for over a month, swept out of the playoffs in the first round and nowhere close to contention. 

What looked like a sure-fire champion in the making has produced two first-round exits and a second-round ouster, just a lone playoff series win in three seasons. But sometimes things just don’t go as planned. It’s called life. 

Of course, there are obvious reasons. Durant missing his first Nets campaign with a ruptured Achilles suffered in the 2019 Finals with Golden State. Irving and James Harden’s injures in last season’s Eastern Conference semis vs. Milwaukee. And of course Irving’s refusal to get a COVID-19 vaccine cost him most of this season and led to a sweep against his former team. 

But the facts are that Boston has rebounded from losing Irving just fine, just a Friday Game 6 win away from the Finals. 

And Durant left the league’s most stable and consistent dynasty since Michael Jordan’s Bulls to come to Brooklyn. Left Steph Curry for Irving, whose vaccine…

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