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ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith went on a rant revolving around Irving on Sunday and vouched for the Nets to avoid signing the 30-year-old All-Star to a long-term extension based on his spotty attendance.
As relayed by OutKick / HoopsWire’s Sam Amico, Kyrie cited chemistry issues as the team’s deficiency this postseason.
Brooklyn slid to 0-3 against the Boston Celtics after losing Game 3 on Saturday, 109-103.
“I don’t wanna be cliche, but I don’t know how you make up time from October to now,” Irving said.
Stephen A. responded emphatically, accusing Irving of ditching his team in the past. The pundit snowballed that argument into a case for the Nets to extend Kyrie’s contract year-to-year rather than long-term.
“The gall of that man to utter those words out of his mouth about how we haven’t been playing together. The nerve, the disgust, I mean you gotta be kidding me.
“Kyrie Irving is box office. This brother deserves $50 million a year. I would never give him a long-term contract again. He cannot be trusted. You pay him one year at a time, I don’t care how much money he gets, but you give it to him one year at a time.
“You know why? Because you gotta make sure he’s going to show up to work. This man has played 11 seasons in the NBA; he has played over 60 games four times. He is one of the absolute professionals at missing work. I’m not giving him a long-term deal. You’ve got to be crazy.”
Amid the prolonged ban from home games and several away games over Kyrie’s unvaccinated status, Stephen A. frequently railed on Irving for ‘turning his back’ on the team by not getting the shot … so he’s never been quite the fan.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela