The Nets are a championship-bound team. It’s mostly because they have three of the most talented players in the league in Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving. But could one of them be on the move?
Irving Attends Media Day (via Zoom)
Kyrie Irving has been in the news lately, and it’s due to statements during media day. He spoke with the media via Zoom, as he couldn’t attend media day due to “health and safety protocols.”
“I would like to keep all that private,” Irving said. “Please just respect my privacy. Like, at all the questions kind of leading into what’s happening, you know, just, please, everything will be released at a due date, once we get this cleared up. But as of right now, just please respect my privacy regarding anything on home games, what’s happening, vaccination. Please.”
Irving’s answer (or lack thereof) puts him and the Nets in a tough position. If Irving is unvaccinated, he’ll miss Nets home games due to a vaccine mandate in New York City. And, if he does miss games, he could lose $400,000 per game.
Irving also mentioned that he doesn’t want to be a distraction for the Nets
“I’m excited. The last thing I wanted to create was this hoopla and distractions,” he said, “I’m continuously growing and learning from others. … It won’t be easy, but I feel like we have a recipe for success.”
Nets owner Joe Tsai discussed Irving’s statements and said he respects his decision but hopes to see him join the team.
“What is our goal this year? What’s our purpose this year? It’s very, very clear: Win a championship. And the championship team needs to have everybody pulling the same direction,” Tsai said.
“So I hope to see Kyrie play fully and win a championship together with everybody else, with all his teammates. That’s the best outcome for everybody.”
Tsai wants Irving around, and there’s a strong belief that others in the Nets organization feel the same way. What other team would put up with his absence last year?
Last season, the Nets and Rockets were in talks for a deal involving James Harden. And, the Rockets made it clear that Houston wanted nothing to do with Irving. When the Rockets and Nets did reach a deal, Harden and Irving joined forces, and the Rockets got assets towards a rebuild. Overall, it worked out for both sides.
Will the Nets Trade Irving?
The Nets want to win a championship, and to do so, Irving must play. The Nets are patient, and if anything, they’ll work towards a resolution rather than trade him.
If it were up to Shaquille O’Neal, he would tell Irving to “get your a** up out of here.” But the Nets feel differently. Regardless of the antics that come with it, Irving is one of the league’s best players. With that said, the Nets should keep him around and become the 2022 NBA champs!