The Chaotic Timeline of the KD-Kyrie Brooklyn Nets

Ever since June 30, 2019, the Brooklyn Nets have been under the microscope. From Steve Nash to James Harden's arrival & departure, it's been a drama-filled run.

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets

Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets

From the moment Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving signed with the Nets in 2019, they became one of the most talked about and scrutinized teams in sports. Whether it’s Stephen A. Smith on First Take or Skip Bayless on Undisputed , the media has been focused on the Nets during the last three seasons regardless of who’s been on the court.

There hasn’t been a dull moment with this Nets franchise ever since the biggest moment in franchise history on June 30, 2019. The drama in the KD-Kyrie started with Kenny Atkinson’s firing leading to Steve Nash’s hiring and it’s been a rollercoaster the whole way. From the James Harden brief stint up until last month where KD requested a trade, it’s fair to say that Nets have been a soap opera the past few seasons. With Kyrie’s recent trade request, this just might be the end of the long drama-filled story but you can never predict anything with this franchise at its current state.

With all that being said, here’s a chaotic timeline of some of the most critical events in the 7/11 era that have led us to where we are today. 

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving sign with the Brooklyn Nets

Kyrie Irving #11 and Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets speak on the bench.

Date: June 30, 2019

Brooklyn is making a clean sweep tonight: Brooklyn will sign Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan, league sources tell ESPN.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2019

It’s hard to be one of the “winners” of NBA Free Agency on day one, but the Brooklyn Nets accomplished just that when they signed KD and Kyrie as soon as free agency started. Overnight, the Nets went from a young, upstart team with a clear ceiling without a superstar to a team that would be in the championship conversation as soon as Kevin Durant was cleared to return from his achilles injury.

Kenny Atkinson is fired, Steve Nash is hired

Steve Nash coaching for the Brooklyn Nets


Here’s the video of Kyrie Irving spotted at a birthday party for his sister.

This is most likely breaking the #NBA Health and Safety Protocols. Irving will receive a fine and will have to quarantine for 7-14 days. Steve Nash should be UPSET!

— George Hathaway (@hathawaygeorge9) January 12, 2021

Date: Jan. 7, 2021

Kyrie Irving was expected to play against the Sixers on January 7, but was later ruled out due to “personal reasons.” It was reported later on that Irving didn’t reach out to any of the Nets front office personnel, and when a video leaked of him attending his sister’s birthday party, he was heavily criticized for it. This leave of absence from Irving didn’t dispel the narrative of Irving being consistently unavailable/unreliable and didn’t dispel the narrative of him being a “poor teammate.” 

James Harden trade

Kevin Durant Kyrie Irving James Harden Nets Celtics 2021

James Harden/Kyrie Irving injuries for the Bucks

Kyrie Irving injury against the Bucks


Kyrie Irving address his stance on not getting the vaccine on IG Live: “It’s about choosing what’s best for you. You think I really want to lose money? You think I really want to give up on my dream to go after a championship? You think I really just want to give up my job?”

— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) October 14, 2021

 Date: Oct. 12, 2021

When New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a mandate requiring New York City athletes to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to be eligible to play home games, most NBA fans didn’t think anything of it. That quickly changed, however, once it was revealed that Kyrie Irving was unvaccinated and didn’t plan on getting vaccinated in the immediate future. On October 12, the Nets announced that Kyrie Irving wouldn’t practice or play games until he was eligible to be a “full-time participant”, and Irving was sent home with no return date in site. 

 Date: December 17, 2021

Citing a desire to lessen the minute’s load of Kevin Durant and James Harden, on December 17, the Nets announced that they planned to bring back Kyrie Irving as a part-time player. At the time, Harden averaged 36.2 minutes per game, and Durant averaged 37 minutes per game. Although the Nets were the top seed in the Eastern Conference, in almost every matchup against a fellow “contender,” they underwhelmed and seemed as if they didn’t belong on the same court with them for long stretches. Opening night against the Bucks, November 16 vs the Warriors, and November 27 against the Suns are losses that immediately come to mind. Without Irving the Nets never truly looked like a championship caliber team.

 Date: Jan. 15, 2022

The Nets suffered injuries to many key contributors in the past few seasons. Still, you can argue Durant’s injury against the Pelicans in January of 2022 was the biggest one. James Harden was now the only healthy star on the Nets who was eligible to play every game. Harden came to Brooklyn to form a dynasticm, unbeatable trio. With Durant now out because of injury and no vaccine exemption on the horizon for Kyrie Irving, the situation wasn’t panning out like Harden had planned. According to multiple reports, Durant’s injury expedited Harden’s unhappiness and desire to leave Brooklyn. The Nets went on an 11-game losing streak following Durant’s injury and plummeted from first in the conference to the play-In race.

James Harden-Ben Simmons trade

Ben Simmons Nets Bench 2022

Nets Get Swept

Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets during the 2022 NBA Playoffs


"A lot of factors go into player decision making - including if they want to be there long-term."

Sean Marks speaks on the future of Kyrie Irving, with the Brooklyn Nets.


— The Sporting News (@sportingnews) May 11, 2022

Date: May 16, 2022 

Despite Irving making it very clear on the ETC’s Podcast to co-host Eddie Gonzalez that he wanted to remain in Brooklyn on a long-term extension Sean Marks didn’t seem to share the same enthusiasm. In a postseason interview with former Nets reporter Michael Grady, Marks was asked about a potential Kyrie extension and his future with the Nets, Marks replied, “we will see what it looks like with Kyrie moving forward. We will see if it’s the right fit for both sides.” 

Nets allow Kyrie to seek sign-and-trade opportunities.

Kyrie Irving and LeBron James

Kevin Durant has requested a trade out of Brooklyn, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 30, 2022

Date: June 27-30, 2022 

On the same day, the Nets granted Kyrie the opportunity to seek sign-and-trade deals; he opted into the final year of his contract to “fulfill his four-year commitment to the Nets and Kevin Durant,” per Shams. That’s why it was a shock to the NBA World when KD asked to be traded from the Nets to the Suns and the Heat just days after Kyrie opted in. Despite previous rumblings that a trade request from KD was possible, most fans assumed that the trade request depended on whether Kyrie would be on the Nets for the 2022-23 season. With Irving under contract for next year, it was a bit of a head-scratcher for many people that Durant still asked to be traded.

Date: Aug, 8, 2022 

For the first time since his trade request, fans got an inkling of why exactly KD wanted out of Brooklyn as “he didn’t have faith in the Nets direction,” according to Shams. Shams also stated that Durant also gave Nets Owner an ultimatum “trade him or fire Nash and Marks” in for him to rescind his trade request. Later that day, Tsai made it apparent that he didn’t plan on firing Marks or Nash and doubled down on his support for them. “Our front office and coaching staff have my support. We will make decisions in the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets.”

Our front office and coaching staff have my support. We will make decisions in the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets.

— Joe Tsai (@joetsai1999) August 8, 2022


KD rescinds trade request

kevin durant remain with nerts

Kyrie's controversial tweet

Kyrie Irving looks on before Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Date: Oct. 27, 2022 

If the Nets thought they were getting a drama-free season from Kyrie Irving, they thought wrong. Kyrie received backlash after tweeting a link on his Instagram and Twitter to the documentary Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America. According to a Rolling Stone report, the 2018 film promotes the thoughts that “Black Hebrew Israelites, which have a long history of misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and especially antisemitism.”

Kyrie's tweet


Nets governor Joe Tsai would later go on Twitter and condemn from his star player, stating this was “bigger than basketball.”

I’m disappointed that Kyrie appears to support a film based on a book full of anti-semitic disinformation. I want to sit down and make sure he understands this is hurtful to all of us, and as a man of faith, it is wrong to promote hate based on race, ethnicity or religion.

— Joe Tsai (@joetsai1999) October 29, 2022





Steve Nash is fired, Ime Udoka becomes likely replacement

Steve Nash is pictured at a game

Date: Nov. 2, 2022

If the Kyrie Irving backlash wasn’t enough, the Nets piled on by firing their head coach Steve Nash after seven games. The Nets were 2-5 to start the season before his exit. Nash’s tenure as the Nets coach only lasted two years and as you can see from this timeline included plenty of drama, roster turnover and controversy. The Nets topped that news by reportedly making Ime Udoka, who was just suspended by the Boston Celtics for the entire season, their lead candidate to replace Nash. 

Woj believes the Nets and Ime could reach a deal as soon as today.

“Ime Udoka could be on the Nets bench by as soon as this road trip this weekend.”

(via: @GetUpESPN)

— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) November 2, 2022


Kyrie gets suspended, apologizes on Instagram


Date: Nov. 3, 2022 

After days of refusing to apologize and back-and-forth debates with media members, Kyrie Irving was suspended by the Brooklyn Nets for at least five games. The Nets went as far as to say Kyrie was “unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets”  in a statement released by the team. The day before the suspension, Irving and the Nets pledged $500,000 each to “causes and organizations that work to eradicate hate and intolerance in our communities” in a joint statement with the Anti-Defamation League. 

Following his suspension, Irving went to Instagram to finally apologize to the Jewish community for his actions.

Kyrie requests trade

NBA All Star Kyrie Irving

Date: Feb. 3, 2023

In the middle of what has been a successful season for the Nets, with the team in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings and a favorite to make it to the Finals if healthy, Irving shocked the world. The All-Star point guard requested a trade ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline, announcing that he will leave in free agency if not dealt at the deadline. Irving and the Nets reportedly couldn’t agree on an extension. 

Breaking: Brooklyn Nets All-Star Kyrie Irving has requested a trade, league sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. The franchise has been informed that Irving prefers to move on ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline – or will leave in free agency in July.

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 3, 2023


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