Just over a month has passed since the Brooklyn Nets pulled off the impossible. Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and DeAndre Jordan are all residence of Kings County.
While DeAndre may not fit within the paradigm that we’re talking about here, Kevin and Kyrie most certainly do: They’re both social pariahs. Now that’s not to say that the media has it out for them, or there’s an agenda being pushed. However, in terms of being outcasts in the eyes of some of the public, there’s definitely something to be said about recent events both Brooklyn Nets’ players have endured.
For the Nets, the facts are pretty simple: Kyrie has had commitment issues, and both him and Kevin have regularly clashed with the media. We’re just over a month removed from learning about Kyrie “ghosting” the Boston Celtics. Nobody within the organization could seem to get a beat on where he was at mentally in terms of re-signing, even though all signs pointed to an exit.
Now obviously the problem with this is that after an open practice on October 4, 2018, Kyrie was asked about how important it is to him to see his jersey retired in Boston. To which he infamously replied; “If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here.”
Fast forward to late January, when Kyrie in some form backtracked on his initial promise. He reiterated his distaste for the free agent fiasco that happens every summer, saying it’s treated as entertainment and said he planned on making the best decision for himself and for his career.
Now it’s important to note that Kyrie is right in saying between NBA media and general social media, things get blown out of proportion on a consistent basis and players often get their words twisted without proper context.
However, despite still having his eyes set on a championship run for Boston, falling out of a honeymoon phase halfway through the season is never going to end well. It gave Boston fans a small taste of what Cleveland Cavaliers fans went through just a year and a half prior, where Kyrie went to owner Dan Gilbert with a list of teams he’d like to be traded to, with Boston as one of the teams. Both fan bases where left wondering; “why doesn’t he want to be here?”
But Kyrie does want to be in Brooklyn. It was almost written in the stars, as he was an enormous Nets fan as a child when they were located in New Jersey. His favorite player was Jason Kidd, and ultimately he has more reason to want to play in Brooklyn than any other franchise in the league. It feels relatively safe assuming Nets fans won’t suffer the same fate as Cavs or Celtics fans.
As for Kevin Durant, he’s obviously had his fair share of troubles just in these last 365 days. Whether it’s telling reporters to grow up or directly asking them why he even needs to be talking to them, at the end of the day Kevin wants to do one thing; play basketball and go home.
But this is New York. These are the Brooklyn Nets. The voices are louder here than they are anywhere else in the world. While both players certainly have valid reasons for some of their issues with media, at the end of the day if there isn’t some sort of a cohesive relationship between those two and the media, we may be heading down a dark path. It almost feels as if this is the beginning of somewhat of a redemption tour for both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. They have somewhat of a clean slate, seeing as they’re new teammates in a rising franchise in the biggest market in the world.
At the end of the day, championships silence everyone.