NBA guard Kyrie Irving has been through rifts with teams in the past, but his situation with the Brooklyn Nets is proving to be the wildest tenure in Irving’s 11-year career.
From deliberately sidelining Irving last offseason from all team activities over his unvaccinated status to rolling out Irving mid-season with no real plan in place, and stalling a contract extension for one of the most talented players in the Association, the Nets’ brain trust is seemingly feeding reasons to Irving on why he should ditch Brooklyn.
After news surfaced of Irving voicing his disapproval of Nets head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks — going as far as saying that he hates them — Irving’s agent, and stepmother, Shetallia Riley Irving spoke out to clear up the rumor.
Speaking with the New York Post, Riley Irving discredited the rumor around Irving’s ardent frustration with the team — amid an ongoing battle between Nash, Marks and Nets forward Kevin Durant.
“I am not sure where this narrative is coming from but Kyrie does not hate Steve nor Sean,” Shetallia Riley Irving said. “That’s not a part of his being nor how he represents himself in the world. He’s about peace, love and acceptance.”
A report from The Athletic this week relayed that Durant spoke with Nets team governor and owner Joe Tsai to discuss a strategy for him to remain with the Nets as trade talks heat up for both Durant and Irving.
Durant’s ultimatum to Tsai was to fire Nash and Marks or lose the player(s) instead.
Tsai indirectly responded to the report on Monday: tweeting a supporting message for Nash and Marks — who have been plenty culpable in the Nets’ failed experiment to cook up a Big 3 in The Bronx.
As GM, Marks oversaw the ban on Irving over the COVID-19 vaccine and was unable to keep the original Big 3 of Durant, Irving and James Harden together.
Marks also acquired Ben Simmons as the third piece for Brooklyn’s tripartite of All-Stars, though the move has yet to generate any true optimism about the Nets’ future.
Nash has so far established himself as an acute basketball mind without any of the reigns of a successful NBA coach — evidenced by the team’s finishing in seventh place in the East last season and a postseason sweep in the first round.
Will Durant stay in Brooklyn? Will Irving get his max contract extension from the Nets? … Safe money says no.