Kyrie Irving wants to protect Kevin Durant from returning too early

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is close friends with teammate Kevin Durant. At Nets media day Friday, Irving showed how much he cares for Durant when speaking of Durant’s timetable to return from a right Achilles injury.

Irving spoke of how Durant wasn’t ready to play in the NBA Finals, as he had previously suffered a right calf injury in the playoffs. Irving said he wanted to be a “protector” for Durant and wouldn’t let him return from his injury too early.

“We all know [Durant] was not ready to play in that environment. We all know that, whether people want to admit it or not,” Irving said, per SNY. “He was out 31 days, and we put him on a national stage in the Finals to end up selling a product that came before the person, Kevin.”

Rumors recently surfaced that Durant could potentially return during the 2019-20 season. On Tuesday, though, Nets general manager Sean Marks said the team is preparing for Durant to be out for the season.

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