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Kyrie Irving says Kevin Durant was rushed back during Finals, won’t be rushed again

Brooklyn Nets Media Day

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 27: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets poses for a portrait during Media Day at HSS Training Center on September 27, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK — Kyrie Irving says Kevin Durant wasn’t ready to play in the NBA Finals.

He wants his new Brooklyn teammate to come back to the court this time only when fully healthy.

Irving put up a fiery defense of Durant in Brooklyn on Friday, saying the former Golden State Warriors forward was rushed back to play “to end up selling a product that came before the person, Kevin.”

Durant had been recovering from a calf injury earlier in the postseason when he returned for Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Toronto. He lasted just 12 minutes before going down with a ruptured Achilles tendon that required surgery.

Durant has said not to blame the Warriors, that he was part of the decision to play and he wanted to be on the court.

Irving added that Durant “was not ready to play in that environment. We all know that, whether people want to admit it or not.”

The Nets have said they expect Durant to miss the season, though Durant says he makes his own decisions.