Former Nets big man Kenyon Martin recently joined Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype for a wide-ranging interview. Amid their discussion, Martin was asked to provide his opinion on Brooklyn’s acquisitions of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant this offseason.
HoopsHype: You played four seasons with the New Jersey Nets and had a lot of success there. What was your reaction to the Nets landing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving this summer?
KM: That was dope for them. It’s great for the organization that they were able to do that. Being able to sign Kyrie allows them to be patient [and still compete] while they wait for KD to get back. Those guys clearly saw something in [the Nets], and they seem to have the same mindset and goals. They know what it takes to be a champion, so they can take that championship pedigree to Brooklyn. It should be an exciting year.
The additions of Irving and Durant have many experts labeling the Nets as a contender for the coming season. However, Durant is expected to miss much (if not all) of the 2019-20 campaign as he recovers from an Achilles injury. That leaves Irving in the driver’s seat of his hometown team.
Irving, now 27 years of age, made 67 appearances with the Celtics last regular season, racking up averages of 23.8 points on 48.7 percent shooting from the field (40.1 percent from beyond the arc), 6.9 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 33.0 minutes per outing.
The Nets finished the 2018-19 regular season with a 42-40 overall record, which earned the team a No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Unfortunately, though, Brooklyn was defeated by the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round, 4-1.