Kyrie Irving has revealed how he plans to end his career playing alongside Kevin Durant as they prepare for a new chapter with the Brooklyn Nets.
After a tough season with the Boston Celtics, the point guard opted out of the final year of his contract and instead headed to the Nets, allowing him to join forces with Durant.
Irving admitted the duo were still unsure of their next move on the morning of free agency, though feels Brooklyn is the ideal destination to put down long-term roots.
"The morning of free agency, we still had no idea what we were doing," Irving told reporters at the team's media day.
"We just want to care for one another in a way where we can build for the next four years and on. We want to end our careers together.
"We want to do this as a team and what better place to do it than Brooklyn, with all these guys that had worked their tails off to be where they are now, to even be in a position here in Brooklyn."
The duo will have to wait to play together, however, as Durant is recovering from an Achilles injury suffered in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
Irving declared he will "protect" his new team-mate and not push him to come back until he is ready, something he feels was not the case with the Golden State Warriors in last season's playoffs.
"We all know K was not ready to play," the six-time NBA All-Star said.
"We all know that, whether people want to admit it or not. 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.
"Now, I'm here to protect that. And I'm going to be the protector of that all throughout the year and not allowing anyone to infiltrate that circle."