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Steve Nash dispels notion that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant don’t care enough to win

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NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Washington Wizards Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the new narrative! Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are jaded, not focused enough on basketball!

Charles Barkley has said that while James Harden makes his teammates better, KD and Kyrie do not. Then, in the past couple of days, pundits have picked over a couple of quotes by the two players.

First, there was Irving’s comment last week about the situation in Gaza where Israel and Hamas have engaged in urban warfare that has killed hundreds of civilians.

“I’m not going to lie to you guys, a lot of stuff is going on in this world, and basketball is just not the most important thing to me right now,” Irving said. “There’s a lot of things going on overseas. All our people are still in bondage across the world, and there’s a lot of dehumanization going on.”

Then, Tuesday, some thought they saw a possible signal that Irving might even be thinking of retiring! Asked if he was thinking of life beyond basketball, Irving responded, “doesn’t everybody?” and “it’s always a thought.”

“Now that we’re here and we’ve got the guys that we have in this locker room and we’ve been through quite a journey, we just want to enjoy the ride,” Irving said after practice. “That’s really all I can say. I just want to enjoy it as if it’s my last.”

Some even went back to a comment KD made last month to Rachel Nichols of ESPN.

“Once I won a championship, I realized that, like, my view on this game is really about development,” Durant said in an interview with Rachel Nichols back in April. “Like, how good can I be? It’s not about, you know, let’s go get this championship. I appreciate that stuff and I want to win to experience that stuff, but it’s not the end-all, be-all of why I play the game.”

Well, Steve Nash went on WFAN Wednesday morning to disabuse Moose & Maggie of the notion that his superstars are ready for battle .

“When those guys come in the building every day, they work as hard and are as focused as anybody in the business,” Nash said. “So whatever their perspectives are are theirs and are warranted, and frankly, much of the time it’s healthy.”

Nash also suggested that even for superstar athletes, life is bigger than basketball. He would know. He played for 18 years.

“There is a lot more to life than winning championships,” Nash said. “That doesn’t mean that Kevin Durant doesn’t work as hard and tirelessly and prepare as much as anyone else in the game. Kyrie having thoughts about the world and the inequalities throughout it I think is really important and admirable. When he comes in, he does his work every day.”

Durant and Irving, of course, have won championships: two for KD, one for Kyrie. Moreover, they’ve been the Finals seven times: four for KD, three for Kyrie. Between the two of them, they’ve played 200 playoff games, winning 132 of them.

“We’re talking about two guys who have won. It’s not like they come in every day and are like ‘You know, I don’t feel like it today. I’d rather read the newspaper and search for something higher.’ When they go in, they are going to work, they’re preparing themselves to play, and they are doing it at a pace and intensity that warrants their greatness.”

In other words, relax.