Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are teaming up in Brooklyn. How does this impact the Los Angeles Lakers and their quest for an NBA Championship?
Within hours of free agency, the Los Angeles Lakers and the rest of the NBA world found out that two superstars were leaving their respective teams to join one another.
Kyrie Irving walked away from the Boston Celtics and Kevin Durant left the Golden State Warriors to join the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets also added DeAndre Jordan to the mix to solidify their competitive roster.
No one in their right mind would have predicted this scenario a year ago from today. Durant was a back-to-back Finals MVP and Kyrie Irving was on the team that many anticipated would win the Eastern Conference this past season. Both players seemed to be in near-perfect situations until unpredictable bumps in the road arose. The entire NBA benefits from this move, specifically the Kevin Durant one.
The Warriors’ dynasty began before Durant joined them, and once he did join, they became nearly unstoppable. Before getting injured in this year’s playoffs, the Warriors had been crowned NBA champions in both years that Kevin Durant was on the roster. Anytime a superteam splits up, other teams benefit. The teams that benefit most, however, are the most competitive ones. That is where the Lakers come in to play.
Speculation about Kevin Durant leaving the Warriors first began when Draymond Green refused to pass the ball to Durant down the stretch in a close game. Green was reportedly frustrated by Durant’s approach to what was implied to be Durant’s last season when Durant said to Green; “This why I’m out.” Speculation that Durant would leave the Warriors only grew stronger within the media from that point on.
The NBA world started to hear about Durant’s apparent interest in the Knicks. Some within the media mentioned the Los Angeles Clippers as a possible destination for KD, but most believed if Durant were to leave the Warriors that it would be for the New York Knicks.
Optimistic Knicks fans believed that their team was not just in the running for Kevin Durant, but that they could also procure another star alongside him, such as a Kyrie Irving or Jimmy Butler. Knicks fans are often optimistic to a fault, but this time it seemed more realistic than ever that their team would make a big splash in free agency.
After a disappointing season from the Celtics, many expected Kyrie Irving to leave the storied franchise. Being that Kyrie is from Brooklyn, it wasn’t such a surprise that he chose to sign with the Nets as soon as free agency began. What did come as a surprise to me along with many others, was Kevin Durant choosing to sign with the Brooklyn Nets. Knicks fans were devastated, but Durant and Irving to the Nets was great for the NBA and even better for the Los Angeles Lakers. Here’s why.