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Kevin Durant rails against unflattering Kyrie Irving narratives

Kyrie Irving has long been dogged by the reputation of being one of the most mercurial and difficult players in the NBA, but a longtime pal and Brooklyn Nets teammate has come to his defense.

Kevin Durant railed against the unflattering reputation Irving has cultivated across the league this week during an edition of his  “The ETCs with Kevin Durant” podcast.

“Kyrie is going to play a nice efficient game this year… all that other s— that people talk about, I was never concerned with that,” Durant said, via ESPN. “Kyrie is going to play the right way and he’s going to do his best when he’s out there.”

Irving unquestionably has been deserving of some of flak he’s caught throughout his career. And Irving’s entire flat-earth saga a few years back was next-level surreal and bizarre.

However, the Nets superstar’s enigmatic ways are balanced by how he is among the most thoughtful, complex and socially aware players in the NBA.

That being said, Irving has been a challenge for every organization with which he has played. Just earlier this season, Irving was conspicuously away from the Nets for an extended period over what was deemed by the team as “personal reasons.”

One thing cannot be disputed when it comes to Irving is his status as one of the most talented players in the NBA. The Nets’ “Big Three — Irving, Durant and newly acquired James Harden — are beginning to develop some chemistry as the juggernaut of an offensive trio continue to familiarize themselves with one another.

As the three superstar continue to develop an on-court rapport, Irving is averaging 27.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.9 assists while shooting 52% from the field and 41% from three-point range across 18 games.

Perhaps just as important, it’s clear in light of Durant’s comments that a fierce loyalty exists between himself and Irving.