KD, Kyrie open up about return to Nets (1:59)

The Nets have had a tumultuous off-season. There is a time and a place for it.

7:13 PM ET

Irving said he turned down the extension because he didn't want to get the vaccine.

Irving decided to be unvaccinated after giving up four years and 100 million dollars. There's a level of uncertainty of your future, whether you're going to be in this league, whether you're going to be on this team, so I had to deal with that situation.

Irving, who was forced to miss home games in Brooklyn because of a New York City vaccine mandate, opted into the final year of his contract, which is worth $36.5 million. The 30-year-old said that the decision to get vaccine was an ultimatum from the organization.

Irving was hopeful that the contract terms would be set before the season started.

Irving said that they were supposed to have all that figured out before training camp. It didn't happen because I'm unvaccinated. I just had to live with it. It was difficult to take.

Nets GM Sean Marks disagreed with the idea that Irving was given an ultimatum regarding his contract.

Marks said there wasn't an ultimatum being given. You want people who are reliable, people who are here and accountable. Staff, players, coaches, you name it. It doesn't give someone an ultimatum to get a vaccine. It is a completely personal decision. I don't care who you are, I stand by your side. If he wants, he has made that decision. It's his decision.

Marks said that New York City's vaccine mandate and Irving's anti-vaccine decision were to blame.

Two summers ago, statewide mandates went into effect. When the vaccine mandates came in, we knew how that would affectIrving, so contract talks stopped. "Here's the deal, now take it back." That didn't happen.

Marks is confident that Irving is committed to being a Net moving forward after contract discussions broke down again this summer.

Marks said that they were happy that the player was back. I listened to the press conference he had this morning and I think he's committed. He knows that in order for him to be a free agent, he's going to have to show commitment. We are happy to support him in any way we can to make sure that he is healthy and ready to go.

As Irving's future within the organization continues to unfold, star forward Kevin Durant spoke publicly for the first time about his own eventful summer in which he requested a trade, requested for Marks to be fired, and then, ultimately, decided to stay with the Nets.

There was a lot of uncertainty surrounding the team. "I committed to this organization for four years last summer with the idea we were going to play with that group that we kind of went on that little run to the second round." I felt like we were building something for the future as we were being healthy.

A lot of uncertainty built up in my mind as the season went on, which made me question my future. I want to be in a place that is stable and builds a championship culture as I get older. There were some doubts about that. I spoke to the owner and we moved forward.

He was not surprised that he was still in Brooklyn.

Durant said no. I know I'm good and you won't give me away. I appreciated that about Sean and Joe. We can't give you away. It's just that easy. I'm aware of that. I'm aware of who I am.

He said that he can only control his job and his job is to be a player.

KD said he wasn't the liaison between the organization and the player. I always said that to them. Sean and Kyrie were told how to build their relationship. You approach each player differently because they're different.

When he was out with an injury the Nets could have fought harder.

He said that they lost in a row when he was injured. Regardless of who's on the floor, we shouldn't lose some of these games. I was worried about how we were going to approach the game. I felt like we were held back by a lot of things. That is done by championship teams. Going into the playoffs, Stephen Curry was injured and was not able to play. The team won games. The team still fought and won games even though Luka was hurt.

We had the talent to do that. I wanted to know if we could keep pushing through adversity. I've been on championship teams and I've also been on teams that were close to winning a championship. I would like to be a part of that group.

I could take both wins and losses. I've been in the league for many years. It isn't just about a result. That's how we get there. I was not sure how we were going to get to that point. I waited to tell people how I felt in the off-season.