Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving Is an Unsustainable Partnership


Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are taking their talents to Brooklyn, and it is fascinating on a number of levels. Both are leaving money on the table to go there — Durant could have signed a contract to remain with the Warriors for nearly $60 million more guaranteed — and this really isn’t even that sure of a thing.

Durant and Irving are two of the most talented players on the planet, but both of them also are emotionally inconsistent. Durant went through years with Russell Westbrook, who is a worse shooter than Kyrie but better at passing, rebounding, and defense. Kyrie’s worst ISO-ball tendencies match Westbrook’s and there will come a time when it drives Durant crazy.

There will be a prolonged honeymoon period. Durant is going to miss most if not all of next season, and the Nets will actually still be pretty good. When Durant comes back that’ll be gravy and it’ll therefore take some time for issues to manifest.

But issues are inevitable because Durant and Irving are both the peculiar combination of alpha and wanderer. This is before you even get to the fact that Irving has missed at least 15 games three of the last four seasons and that we have no idea how Durant will respond to his Achilles injury.

The way I forecast it, there’s a one-year window of big opportunity in the 2020-21 season, but after that Durant and Irving will tire of each other.