Tonight, Kyrie Irving will face the Nets for the first time since he was traded to Dallas last February. He spoke to the media this week to discuss his Brooklyn tenure, but before you read his comments, let’s revisit what actually happened during three and half seasons in New York City.
The feeling Brooklyn fans got in the summer of 2019 will never be forgotten. Brooklyn swooped in and signed Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who spurned the Knicks to sign with the team across the Brooklyn Bridge, giving Nets fans hopes of multiple championships.
Irving and Durant’s tenure in Brooklyn did not meet expectations, as the pairing won just one playoff series together. Durant’s toe, being one size too big, turning his three against Milwaukee into a two, is the perfect metaphor for the heartbreaking fashion their Brooklyn tenures dissolved.
In February 2023, Sean Marks shipped Durant to Phoenix and Irving to Brooklyn. In New York City, Durant will always receive a warm welcome. Irving, who caused the Nets a litany of problems and bad press, will not.
Nets fans will not soon forget the backlash their favorite franchise received when Irving broke the NBA’s COVID protocols, was not allowed to play due to his vaccine status, posted Alex Jones conspiracy theories on his Instagram, or requested a trade not once but twice.
Not even James Harden or Dennis Rodman cause an NBA franchise the amount of problems Irving causes. He will surely be booed heavily (and rightfully so) when he returns to Brooklyn on February 6th.
Kyrie Irving spoke on his Nets tenure this week
Irving spoke with Brian Lewis of the New York Post to discuss his Nets tenure this week.
"“I was never on bad terms with the organization. I just think there was a lot of chaos and noise, as usual, from the media. I’m not going to blame you guys or anything, but nobody really knew what was going on behind the scenes."
Irving is right about one thing: we have no idea what was happening behind the scenes. Why did Irving request a trade and leave his “friend” Durant behind? We know Irving wanted a fully guaranteed extension, and the Nets were not ready to give him that based on all he put the organization through. He may never believe he was on bad terms with the organization, but the organization was certainly never thrilled with Irving during his tenure.
Lewis pointed out to Irving how Texas handled COVID, which prompted this asinine response,
"“Brooklyn should have just released me, and it would’ve made things a lot easier on everybody. But, [that’s] 20/20 hindsight.”"
Yes, Kyrie, Brooklyn should’ve just released one of their two most valuable players because you did not like how they ran their team. Irving has always felt he was way more powerful in this league than he really is, and that has been one of his main problems.
Brooklyn fans are lucky they no longer have to deal with all the headaches Irving creates.