Kyrie Irving believes the trade request from Kevin Durant made the Brooklyn Nets better in the end.

“When Kev made that request, I feel like we got better,” Irving told Shams Charania during a sit-down interview. “Afterwards. Not initially, but now where we are now, I feel like we can honestly say we got better, with the principles that are needed for success. Without going through some test in the summertime or during the season, we wouldn’t be able to be as close and bonded as we are now.”

The Nets were on the precipice of losing both Irving and Durant this past offseason, but both remain on their roster. Irving could have opted out while Durant perhaps could have continued his machinations to seek a trade.