The Brooklyn Nets continue to dominate the summer headlines. It’s been over a month since star Kevin Durant requested a trade from the Nets, prompting rumors of Kyrie Irving following suit to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Nothing has come to fruition yet, but in a recent meeting with Nets owner Joe Tsai, Durant reiterated his desire to be moved from Brooklyn. Durant’s disdain for the direction of the franchise is at the forefront of his trade request.
The 12-time All-Star did his best high school girlfriend impression giving Tsai an ultimatum — choose between him or general manager Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash. Tsai hasn’t given in to Durant as he tweeted his support for Marks and Nash, seemingly declining Durant’s wish of removing two of the most important pieces of an organization.
Now, it seems Durant’s co-star Irving shares the same displeasure with the team’s leaders, via Mark W. Sanchez and Josh Kosmanthe of the New York Post:
A source close to the Nets organization indicated Durant is not the only Nets star unhappy with the team’s leadership.
“Kyrie Irving hates these guys,” the source said. “He feels that Nash is terrible and Marks is bad.”
“KD came to the same conclusion,” the source added.
The new report is a contradiction from an earlier one that said Irving was in fact in a “good place” with the Nets. It was also mentioned that Irving is comfortable being on the Nets next season.
Just last month, it was reported that Irving never even requested a trade and intends to play in Brooklyn next year. Players, however, still were optimistic a deal could be facilitated to bring Kyrie to L.A.
To make matters even more confusing, it seems Irving is still committed to being in Brooklyn while displaying leadership behind the scenes, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
“So I mean, right now, Kyrie Irving he opted into his contract. He’s committed to the Nets. From everything I’ve been told, he’s been doing everything behind the scenes. When you think about leadership, when you think, he’s worked out with teammates this offseason. Continuing to have those conversations with Sean Marks, Steve Nash. From his side, he’s entering the last year of his deal, there’s not really much of a place for him to really rock the boat. I think what you’re going to see from Kyrie Irving is just a level of high professionalism and I think that’s what he’s shown since he’s opted in. Now, the other side is this, him and Kevin Durant are very close. This is something that everyone knows. And I think at the end of the day, whatever Kevin Durant wants to do, go through with the trade request, have feelings this way or that way, he’s going to always support Kevin Durant as a friend and his happiness. But as far as, you know, where this leaves him and the Nets I think, whether Kevin Durant is traded or not, I think Kyrie Irving has an opportunity to still be a Net and I think the likelihood is still that right now the plan is for him to stay a Net going into training camp and the season. These things can always change, but I don’t believe as this stands right now, if Kevin Durant is traded, it’s a foregone conclusion that Kyrie Irving’s traded. I think that it’s really going to be about how these conversations keep going.”
None of this seems to make sense.
The two reports are clearly conflicting and everything could change if Durant is dealt away. Irving may be also faking his interest in his conversations with Marks and Nash, almost trying not to make an already bad situation worse.
The contradiction continues to be jarring too, leaving little room to understand what is actually going on. Organizations could be leaking information, regardless of its true or not, as a form of leverage to make a deal happen.
Kyrie’s disdain for the Nets’ leadership doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t want to play there either. In an ideal situation, it would mean just that, but, at times, Kyrie Irving is anything but ideal.
With much of free agency at a halt, the Nets saga will continue to run the offseason and the Lakers will continue to monitor in hopes of acquiring the All-Star point guard to pair with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Phil Handy compares Irving to Kobe Bryant
Irving’s close relationship with Lakers legend Kobe Bryant is no surprise to NBA fans. His desire to play for the Lakers began with the idea of wearing the same jersey Bryant once did. Whether that will actually happen is still up in the air.
Lakers assistant Phil Handy recently compared Irving to Bryant, saying if Kyrie was 6-foot-6, he’d be just like the Black Mamba.
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