Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving says for the first time in his career he has a teammate to which he can hand the ball in crunch time and have full belief and confidence that he can knock down the clutch shot. Irving, who signed with the Nets last offseason, is set to play his first season with Kevin Durant, who also signed with the Nets last year but spent the entire season rehabbing an Achilles injury.
"One thing I've always been comfortable with, I felt like I was the best option on every team I played for down the stretch," Irving said on Durant's new podcast, "The Etcs," per ESPN. "This is the first time in my career I've looked down and be like, 'That motherf---er can make that shot too.'
And he'll probably do it a lot easier. "It's not so much deferring, because in past situations where I didn't take the last shot I felt guilty. I want this game-winning shot, but also you want to trust your teammates.
Not that I didn't trust my teammates, but I felt like I was the best option."
Irving insists he wasn't taking shots at LeBron James
Irving played with James for three years when the two were with the Cleveland Cavaliers and many believed Irving was taking a shot at James when be made the comments about Durant.
ESPN contacted Los Angeles Lakers forward James, who said he was aware of the Irving comments but declined to comment on it. "Why must it always be brother against brother... why?" Irving said later in several Twitter videos.
"If I'm addressing anyone, I'll say their name. Come on, y'all. Don't listen to the false narratives. Let people live their lives! It's just a game. "You talk openly. You talk freely. But because we live in a clickbait society, it becomes something bigger.
You don't have to defend it. That's just what media is. ... It's entertainment. I'm not going to let it put me against anybody anymore, at any point. Because that's not what it's about. ... Don't have to put me against anyone else!
It's never been about that. It's about the love. Peace." After the Cavaliers won the NBA championship in the 2016/2017 season, Irving requested a trade from the team as he was fed up on being in the shadow of James. Irving then had a failed stint with the Boston Celtics and now he is hoping to land his second title with the Nets.