Hours away from the start of the 2022-23 regular season, the Brooklyn Nets are simultaneously hours away from putting to bed their drama from the previous summer. With the turbulence almost leading to team exits for stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, it’s undoubtedly a day to celebrate.
We heard Durant give his take on the summer during media day this year. Irving spoke too, but earlier this week, he sat down with Shams Charania of The Athletic and took a deeper dive into the offseason, his family, and more.
Irving and Charania opened up speaking about Irving’s journey as a father. The seven-time All-Star welcomed a new baby into the world just a few weeks ago. They moved on to talk about Irving’s contract situation over the summer, where Uncle Drew concluded that returning to the Nets was the right call for him.
“Deciding to come back to Brooklyn was the best decision I could have made,” said Irving. “The roster is really what drew me back home. We got something good here. I’m not gonna say too much cause we haven’t been tested yet, but it definitely showed me that the organization was willing to work hard and do everything possible for me to be comfortable but also push me to be uncomfortable as one of the leaders of the team.”
“I’m ready to answer that call, but not alone” Irving went on. “I’m just ready to wear my different hat night to night, play my role, and enjoy it because all these moments could be taken away like that.”
It’s difficult to disagree with Irving’s words. The Nets did make solid moves to improve their roster this summer. Size and defense represented two major achilles heels for the team, but the additions of Ben Simmons, Royce O’Neale, Markieff Morris, T.J. Warren, and Yuta Watanabe will all operate like a Phil Swift product on these once glaring holes.
In the interview, Irving also went on to speak about his health, time away from the team, and a variety of other topics, all of which are worth a watch if you have the time.
However, this tidbit about his re-established faith in the team based on the unit they have right now has to instill some confidence in Nets fans and their front office. Having won a championship and being on a flurry of other title-contending teams, including Brooklyn’s “coulda, shoulda, woulda” team from two years ago, Irving knows what a winning squad looks like.
In the interview’s second portion which Charania dropped today, Irving also goes on to describe his goals for the upcoming season, which included both some individual and team hardware. This drive from Irving, coupled with his belief in the guys around him should terrify opposing teams.
Although fans also want a win tonight, this expression of confidence from a star resembles a nice gift to receive on day one for the team. The time is now for Brooklyn to have that dream season they’ve been waiting for — Irving knows that and seems to be oozing with excitement and readiness. Could you ask for a better kicker before the 2022-23 campaign?