When Kevin Durant went down with a ruptured Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, the blame game started.
Was Durant ready to come back? Did the Warriors push him to return before he was ready? Was it just bad luck?
While Durant has said it wasn't the Warriors' fault that he tore his Achilles, his new Brooklyn Nets teammate and best friend Kyrie Irving thinks a little differently.
On Friday during Nets Media Day, Irving was asked about his relationship with Durant, the star forward's rehab and when the Nets might expect him back. The All-Star guard took the opportunity to take a swipe at the Warriors and how they handled Durant's injury.
"I think you have to go inside the mind of a competitor," Irving said. "A lot of people have responsibilities for why that ended up happening how it happened on a national scale. We all know [Kevin] was not ready to play in that environment. We all know that. Whether people want to admit it or not. He was out 31 days and we put him on a national stage on The Finals to end up selling a product that came before the person, Kevin. And now, I'm here to protect that. I'm going to be the protector of that all throughout the year, and not allowing anyone to infiltrate that circle of, 'Hey K, do you. We'll be fine.'
"I'm very patient. I'm going to be over patient with Kevin because I don't want anything like that to happen ever again, especially on that type of stage where it happens and then he's having to answer questions about when he's coming back or not. So I'm here to dispel it that you'll never hear me say, 'He's coming back here or I think he's coming.' I want him to be 101 percent healthy."
Durant followed Irving at Media Day and once again shouldered the blame for what happened.
"I make my own decisions," Durant said.
Irving and Durant are, as stated, best friends, so it's curious that Irving would say that without getting an inkling from Durant that he felt the Warriors mishandled the initial injury.
Of course, Irving has been known to riff about all things known to man on a whim, so there's a high probability this is just Kyrie being Kyrie.
[RELATED: Durant's injury sparks blame game]
Durant had a historic run with the Warriors, but it didn't have a storybook ending.
The duo now must get to work building what they envision will be a dynasty in Brooklyn.
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