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Never one to hesitate when an opinion is needed, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith teed off on Nets point guard Kyrie Irving Monday.
“What nerve. What nerve. What gall,” a rambling Smith shouted during ESPN’s First Take.
“Talk about delusional. That’s this dude. That’s Kyrie Irving,” Smith said when discussing the notion that Irving thinks he deserves a four-year max contract from Brooklyn. Throughout the segment Smith did all he could to keep from laughing at the ridiculousness of Irving’s request.
Smith’s most recent rant stemmed from an early-morning report in which NBA Insider Shams Charania tweeted: “Sources: Kyrie Irving, Nets are at impasse in conversations about his future in Brooklyn, clearing way for the seven-time All-Star to consider the open market. Lakers and Knicks expected to emerge among potential suitors.”
The Nets seemingly agree with Smith’s take. That’s a change from earlier this month when reports surfaced that all signs were pointing towards Irving and Brooklyn continuing their partnership with a new incentive-laden max contract extension.
Brooklyn’s oddly quick pivot away from committing to Irving makes more sense if you believe what Smith says about the supremely talented 30-year-old guard.
“Do you know that this brother Kyrie Irving, last season, would conduct his own practices,” Smith asked cohost Kendrick Perkins. “So when Steve Nash had the team on the floor, they would practice. They would finish and he’d go and get five guys and conduct his own practice.
“You have any idea how disrespectful that is for the players?”
On this day 16 years ago, Allen Iverson talked about practice pic.twitter.com/vdqvV0cFqc
— SB Nation (@SBNation) May 7, 2018
Smith continued blasting Irving’s practice — or is it post-practice — habits. “You have any idea how disrespectful that is to Steve Nash,” Smith said in the direction of Perkins. “He conducted his own practices, after Steve Nash conducted a practice! “…He’s driving (Nash) crazy!”
After recognizing the immense talent Irving possesses, Smith concluded by reiterating that Irving’s delusional in thinking the Nets will hand him a max contract. “It’s not just about your abilities,” said Smith. “It’s about your availability and your willingness to be available.
…to participate in the best interest of team. And when that is a question mark, you do not give a lengthy contract extension, fully guaranteed. Hell No!”
Stay tuned. This likely won’t be the last we’ll hear of Smith on Irving.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF