New Los Angeles Lakers center DeAndre Jordan says he will always be a friend with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Jordan, who played alongside Durant and Irving in Brooklyn, decided to leave the Nets and find a team where he would have more playing opportunities.
"We're definitely not friends anymore, so ..." Jordan said jokingly with a hearty laugh during his introductory video news conference on Thursday. Jordan, Irving and Durant talked years ago about playing together one day.
Their goal was accomplished but the trio didn't win an NBA title together. "We're friends before basketball, after basketball and I think ultimately we all just want to be happy," Jordan said. "And being able to compete is something that's very important to me and they understand that.
And we're brothers beyond basketball, so us being teammates or not isn't going to reflect on or affect our relationship."
Jordan grateful to the Nets
Jordan wanted to leave the Nets so the team agreed to trade him to the Detroit Pistons.
The Pistons never had any intentions of keeping Jordan and they agreed to a buyout with the veteran center. "It was just both parties wanted to figure out something that was best for both of us," he said. "And I feel like they gave me that respect as a veteran player to be able to understand that I wanted to be able to compete.
... It just worked better for both of us." After agreeing to a buyout with the Nets, Jordan signed with the Lakers. "Just to be able to be with a team like this with guys that you respect and guys that you've competed against for the past -- going into my 14th season has been great in seeing, 'I wonder what it would be like to play with this guy,'" Jordan shared.
"And you always think about that, whether you tell people or not." "Obviously, as you get older you start to see different things and honestly with the Clippers teams that we had, we had some bad luck," Jordan said.
"On the team that I was on last year, we had a little bad luck with injuries and some small things like that. But you definitely don't want to take it for granted. ... I'm excited to be able to be here and jell with these guys and build chemistry and it's going to be a process but I think we're all ready and excited for it."