Kyrie Irving's commitment to the Brooklyn Nets is unclear as he remains on a personal leave, but he was reportedly the driving factor in convincing Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan to sign with the franchise during their 2019 free agency.
"I thin what's amazing about where Kevin Durants fits in is Kevin Durant went to Brooklyn in this sort of grand scheme with Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan," said Ramona Shelburne on the ESPN Daily podcast. "Those are the three super friends from Team USA. They were down on the cruise boat down there in Brazil.
"If you understand their relationship, Kevin Durant is really focused on basketball. He's like a hoophead. He just loves to play. Kyrie Irving is the alpha of that group, of that friend group.
"When they were choosing where to play, I think Kyrie took the lead. Kyrie wanted to go to Brooklyn. He talked DeAndre and Kevin into it.
"So if you're Kevin Durant right now, how do you feel about that? The guy who got you there is sort of M.I.A. We don't know what's going on with him. Now you have a chance to play with your old buddy James Harden."
Durant and Harden worked out together in Los Angeles before the start of the season and began discussing playing together with the Nets.
"Even when they were talking about it this summer, the conversations were pretty extensive. It was mapping out how the trades would even get done."
Brooklyn, like Philadelphia with Daryl Morey, had a confidence in knowing what they were getting in Harden due to his connections with Durant as well as Mike D'Antoni.