Three former Nets teammates were all back in town together with Denver, and none was surprised at how their supposed superteam broke up and the Kevin Durant-Kyrie Irving era ended in Brooklyn.
As a matter of fact, a couple expected it.
“No, [I’m not surprised]. Not really, no,” Bruce Brown told The Post. “No, I think everyone was not. Everyone’s not surprised with what happened, because they both … KD requested a trade, and there was a lot going on in the summer. So I think it was good for both parties to move on.”
Brown said that there was plenty going on with the Nets behind the scenes, and that once Durant had asked out in June and Irving followed with his own melodrama, it went from a matter of if to a question only of when.
“Once the summer [trade request occurred], it could happen. They started off playing really well, and then when the Ky situation came about you knew they were going to move him,” said Brown, shrugging, “So, end of an era.”
‘Situation’ could be Irving’s contract talks, his promotion of an anti-Semitic movie or demanding a trade last month.
The end result was the same: A breakup of the Nets’ supposed superteam that seemingly everybody knew was coming.
“I don’t know if I’m surprised,” Jeff Green told The Post. “But at the end of the day, we realize that it as a business. It was stuff that both sides couldn’t really control, and it ran its course.”
Brown — who got a video tribute after the first quarter Sunday — Green and DeAndre Jordan were Nets together in 2020-21.
Jordan arrived a year earlier (as a package with Durant and Irving), while Brown departed a year later (just two months before Durant’s trade request).
Ben Simmons missed a 13th straight game Sunday with left knee and back soreness. Jacque Vaughn offered no further clarity on his status.
“Not really a timeline or update,” Vaughn said. “Again, what I can give you is no setback which is good and he continues to progress on court.”
Newly signed 10-day player Moses Brown did not play in his first game with the Nets.
“[We] still have Day’Ron [Sharpe] and his ability to play for us,” Vaughn said. “But the way I coach, at some point you will see Moses and we’ll see him during the stretch of the next 10 days for sure.”
After sweeping the Knicks and Nets this weekend, Denver stayed in New York on Sunday night, giving the team four nights in the city.
“Talk about a death trap,” quipped Nuggets coach Michael Malone, a Queens native and Seton Hall (N.J.) Prep grad whose dad Brendan was a three-time Knicks assistant. He noted the pitfalls of giving players too much time in the city. “Back-to-back matinee games in New York is a cruel and unusual punishment by the league.”
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