The Brooklyn Nets ended their experiment with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving over the course of several days, officially closing the book on a tumultuous chapter in the franchise’s history that yielded little playoff success.
The Nets traded Durant to the Phoenix Suns Thursday morning and Irving to the Dallas Mavericks Sunday. Brooklyn received several young players and draft picks to cultivate young talent for the future, but their latest attempt at building a superstar roster failed in dramatic fashion.
Shannon Sharpe, a Pro Football Hall of Famer turned FOX Sports personality, explained to Fox News Digital he didn’t think things between the Nets and Durant got better after the superstar had requested a trade in the offseason.
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“I didn’t think anything had gotten better between Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets, and now that Kyrie Irving was gone — one of the guys he wanted to join in going to Brooklyn – I thought there was like a 90-plus percent chance that this season he was going to request a trade and be moved,” Sharpe said in a recent interview. “But I didn’t think he’d be moved by the trade deadline. And it gives them an opportunity to go somewhere.
“For whatever reason, think about it. James Harden wanted out. Kyrie Irving wanted out. Kevin Durant wanted out. Something is going on behind the scenes in Brooklyn that the casual general fan doesn’t know about. Those are the three superstars that you traded for, that you thought you were gonna have for a long period of time, and within 13 months, all of them are gone.”
Sharpe added that it didn’t make sense to him why the superstar combinations didn’t work. He mentioned the Nets previously going after Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Once that failed, the team broke up a young core behind D’Angelo Russell to go after Durant and Irving.
“But you can’t blame them,” Sharpe told Fox News Digital. “You’re talking about two elite-level players. Kevin Durant is a transcendent historical player. Kyrie Irving, we know he’s a walking bucket, one of the most skilled offensive players we’ve ever had in the game. So, I don’t fault them for moving off some of those players to get those two guys back and think you can have a championship team. And then you move other pieces to get James Harden. … But for whatever reason, it didn’t work.”
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Sharpe spoke to Fox News Digital on behalf of the Talk That Talk campaign, which he launched with Janssen Oncology in September. Sharpe is encouraging men to get screened for prostate cancer. He came out last year about his battle with prostate cancer.
Sharpe recalled that when he got tests to check to make sure everything was OK, he received a call about his results from a different doctor than the one who did the initial procedure. He said he could tell something was up when she was talking very deliberately about his results.
“I’m thinking in my mind something is not right here,” he explained. “So when she told me, she did say we caught this very early and there’s a chance you’re going to be great. But, you know what, what was I supposed to think? They’re always going to put a positive spin on it. So, I started reading up on it and found out if you were screened earlier and were diagnosed earlier, there is a greater chance of survival.
“So, it did put my mind at ease. But still, I heard the C word. Yeah, no one wants to hear cancer,” Sharpe said, adding he only told the people closest to him that he knew were going to be able to handle the news.
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Sharpe said he’s been cancer free going on six years and is now advocating men in their late 30s to start getting screenings.