During his appearance on the latest episode of the Play for Keeps podcast, Kevin Durant explored the idea that his Brooklyn Nets teammate Kyrie Irving is "misunderstood." Durant believes Irving is simply being open and honest, and by speaking the "raw truth," responses from people can turn negative.
"What does, like, misunderstood mean?," Durant said at the 18:20 mark. "The truth sometimes can hurt a lot of people. When you tell the raw truth, especially in this society, it's frowned upon. Kyrie tells it how it is. There's no sugarcoating."
In regards to Irving appearing to be at the forefront of a group of players in opposition of the NBA season restart, Durant reveals that upwards of 80 to 90 players were concerned about going to the bubble in Orlando, but Kyrie's stature in the league put him ahead of the pack.
The truth and nothing but the truth. @KDTrey5 keeps it real about his Brooklyn Nets running mate @KyrieIrving and why the public might not understand him. #KDP4K— Elite Media Group (@TheEliteMedia_) August 5, 2020
Listen: https://t.co/hSJMnesw8D pic.twitter.com/VydlfJWdqp
"In this situation with the NBPA, he wasn't the only one that had a problem with what was potentially going to happen in the bubble. Like, everybody had concerns," Durant said. "But obviously, he's Kyrie—the biggest one—and that's going to sell papers. At this time, especially during the pandemic, nobody making money, so you get an opportunity to get some clicks, it's easy to use Kyrie. But it's 80, 90 players who had the same questions he had."
Contrary to reports that Irving organized a group of NBA players to express their disapproval for the NBA restart, KD says that things transpired in a more organic way. "Kyrie wasn't the one, like, 'Yo, let's get everybody together,'" he said. "Five or six people called one another, like, 'Oh shit, I'm feeling that way too.' Then, another 10 people called...But Kyrie the biggest voice out of 'em all, and because he relates to everyone in the league."
Even though Irving will not play in the bubble as he recovers from shoulder surgery, he has utilized his time off the court to more effectively put his words into actions, starting a $1.5 million fund for the WNBA players who chose to opt out of the 2020 season, and producing a special to seek justice for Breonna Taylor.