“Makes My Blood Boil”: 24YO Ex-Teammate of Kyrie Irving Laments in Disdain After Falling Off the Radar Post Kevin Durant Exit

Published 10/03/2023, 12:10 AM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

The presence of the superstars within an NBA team not only helps the franchise win but also puts the spotlight on younger names. A 24-year-old Brooklyn Nets Center witnessed it firsthand during the Kevin Durant And Kyrie Irving era. His endeavors mixed with the media attention put him on the radar before it all came to an abrupt end.

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The departure of the two icons took the limelight away from the youngster and he called it out recently. He candidly shared his experience since their exit as it gave us insights into the nature of the NBA market.

What happened since Kevin Durant And Kyrie Irving’s departure?

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The duo left New York City early this year to go on their separate journeys to achieve a common goal. More than themselves, it hurt one of their former teammates, Nic Claxton, as he discussed the impact of their exit. Leading up to the trade deadline last season, the Nets star was a “Top 3 in the Defensive Player of the Year voting”.

It all changed too quickly soon after as Durant and Irving both left the team one after the other, hampering Nic’s standing. Thus, by the end of the campaign, he became “Nothing at all,” as his “name just fell off the map”. Reflecting on it on the media day, he stated, “It makes my blood boil,” while sharing his disappointment.

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The center felt “robbed of a defensive team” as he fell down the pecking order fast since the trades. He still backed himself saying, “I held down the whole defense,” highlighting his contributions to the team in all phases. Soon after lamenting, the 6’11 star decided to talk about his current viewpoint.

He mentioned, “That’s behind us,” as he discussed his level of determination ahead of a new season. While making himself available for the service to the squad, Claxton indicated a strong comeback.

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Can Nic Claxton repeat his heroics?

Missing only 6 games in the regular season last time around, Nic became an integral part of the Nets system. Featuring in the starting five for each of those matches he averaged an impressive 9.2 rebounds per game. Alongside that, he led the NBA in steals plus blocks and registered the fourth-highest defensive rating in the league.

The numbers on the offensive end were decent too as he averaged 12.6 points per game and 1.9 assists per game. Last season, thus, turned out to be his breakthrough moment as his game evolved massively.

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WATCH THIS STORY | “Without Kevin Durant, LeBron (James) Got Steph in His Backpocket”: ex-Teammates Give Lakers Superstar an Upper Edge For the 5th Ring

Still, only 24 and displaying the determination to become the best in the business, Nic has ample time to turn things around. Can he do it this season? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Sourav Bose

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Sourav is a detail-oriented NBA content writer at EssentiallySports. His passion for the game of basketball was ignited by none other than the captivating duo of Stephen Curry and Steve Kerr. As he delved into the illustrious history of the NBA, his fascination grew exponentially.
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Edited by:

Sameen Nawathe

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