Brooklyn Nets: Stephen A. Smith is latest evidence that media is forcing Kyrie Irving trade narrative

TAMPA, FLORIDA - APRIL 27: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - APRIL 27: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

You know NBA training camp is around the corner when sports talk show hosts start spreading trade rumors about superstars instead of doing the responsible thing and waiting for hard evidence, like a tweet from a prominent insider.

Brooklyn Nets fans have had front-row seats to this experience of late, as Kyrie Irving has been the subject of some preposterous rumors.

To start, “First Things First” co-host Nick Wright claimed there was a handful of Irving-centered trades that “potentially” make sense for the Nets.

Wright didn’t have much credibility to begin with and he decided to take things a step further by reporting that Irving would retire if the Nets traded him.

Fast forward a few days and ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith decided to join in on the fun. During Thursday’s episode of “First Take,” Smith claimed the Nets had a deal in place to ship Irving to Philadelphia in exchange for Ben Simmons.

Why didn’t the blockbuster come to fruition? According to Stephen A., one Kevin Durant stepped in and nixed the trade.

Stephen A. Smith claims the Nets almost traded Kyrie Irving to the 76ers for Ben Simmons.

Credit to Wright and Smith for giving us some content to write about in the dog days of the offseason, but we really hope this is the last time a sports media personality tries to do their best Adrian Wojnarowski impression.

We’re not sure what it is with the media, but it loves pushing the narrative that Brooklyn is keen on trading Kyrie. Is he capable of taking an impromptu sabbatical for a few days during the season? Sure. Not the greatest, but that’s life.

Can you question his overall commitment to basketball? We suppose, but can you really fault him for believing that speaking out against social injustice and promoting other important causes are more important than basketball? Nope.

The most important point? There’s literally zero evidence to suggest that the Nets want to cut bait with Irving. When healthy, the Nets were unstoppable with him, Durant and James Harden sharing the hardwood.

We don’t either!

Assuming their luck changes this season, Brooklyn will be heavy favorites to win it all. Irving has absolutely balled since he signed with the Nets, averaging 27 points, 4.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.2 steals with .498/.400/.922 shooting splits.

It’s no wonder general manager Sean Marks has been outspoken about his desire to sign Irving, who has a player option for 2022-23, to an extension.

The regular season really can’t get here soon enough, because these rumors don’t deserve to see the light of day again.