Kyrie Irving left the Boston Celtics in free agency during the offseason to team up with Kevin Durant in Brooklyn with the Nets. The latter decided to leave Golden State Warriors, the finalists for the last five seasons, and begin a new chapter in his NBA career.

However, Durant’s career in Brooklyn is unlikely to start anytime soon with the small forward facing at least nine months out with a ruptured Achilles and Irving has blamed the Warriors for it. The two-time NBA Finals MVP suffered the injury when he made his only appearance during Warriors six game loss in the 2019 NBA Finals to Toronto Raptors.

The 30-year-old spent 31 days on the sidelines during the post-season with a calf injury but the Warriors and the player was keen to get back on court, especially in the finals with the Raptors holding the advantage. It was decided that he was fit enough to take the court ahead of Game 5 and he returned much to the joy of Warriors fans.

Durant’s time on the court, however, was limited to 12 minutes when he went down clutching his right ankle. It was immediately diagnosed as an Achilles injury and two days later he underwent a surgery to repair the damage.

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant Kyrie Irving (L) and USA's guard Kevin Durant look on from the substitutes' bench during a Men's round Group A basketball match between China and USA at the Carioca Arena 1 during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Aug. 6, 2016. Photo: ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images

He eventually decided to leave the Warriors for Nets despite facing the prospect of missing the entire 2019-20 season and current teammate Irving believes the Warriors were wrong to throw Durant into high pressure game. The former Celtics point guard has made it clear that he will ensure Durant is “101 percent” fit before he returns for the Nets either later this upcoming season or the next campaign.

"We all know [Durant] was not ready to play in that environment," Irving said, as quoted on Sports Illustrated. "He was out 31 days and we put him on a national stage in the Finals to end up selling a product that came before the person Kevin. And now I'm here to protect that."

Irving, meanwhile, also spoke about his time with the Celtics and admits that he did not do enough in his role as team leader to bring the best out of his teammates. He also accepts that he did not give his best and was distracted following the death of his grandfather in October last year.

"A lot of the battles I thought I could battle through in the [Boston] team environment, I just wasn't ready for," Irving said. "And I failed those guys, in the sense that I didn't give them everything I could have during that season. ...In terms of me being a leader in that environment and bringing everyone together, I failed."