In the wake of Kevin Durant‘s ultimatum to Nets’ owner Joe Tsai — either me or coach Steve Nash and GM Sean Marks — a second report popped up that Kyrie Irving agreed with Durant. He thought Marks was “bad” and Nash “terrible,” according to a source speaking to two reporters at the New York Post.
“I am not sure where this narrative is coming from but Kyrie does not hate Steve nor Sean. That’s not a part of his being nor how he represents himself in the world. He’s about peace, love and acceptance,” his agent and stepmother Shetallia Riley Irving told The Post.
Okay, Irving doesn’t hate them. But does he think they should be fired?
His agent declined to comment on whether Irving agrees with Kevin Durant, who reportedly wants Marks and Nash fired.
Sometimes not answering a question answers a question.
Irving went into this offseason expecting he would receive a long-term contract extension in Brooklyn, but the Nets’ top management — Marks and Tsai — didn’t see him as reliable enough to be rewarded with that longer contract. That was based on more than Irving’s refusal to get vaccinated last season keeping him out of games last season, it was him missing weeks in the middle of the season the year before (reportedly after feeling overwhelmed following the Jan. 6 riot at the Captial) and other things that had the Nets feeling Irving was not committed to them.
Irving tried to find a sign-and-trade with another team this summer, only to find the market agreed with Marks and Tsai (the only suitor was the Lakers, with a Russell Westbrook trade that didn’t work for Brooklyn). Irving eventually opted into his $36.5 million to play for the Nets next season, saying at the time, “Normal people keep the world going, but those who dare to be different lead us into tomorrow.”
From his perspective, it is not a surprise Irving would have an issue with Nets management, and his close friend Kevin Durant had his back and has asked to be traded, leading to the ultimatum.
None of this will speed the Durant or Irving trade situations — the Celtics, Raptors and Heat had to look at Durant’s demand and ultimatum this week and think there was no reason to increase their offer. Things will only get more uncomfortable and awkward for Marks, Tsai and the Nets if/when Durant doesn’t show up to training camp (or hold-in buy showing up but not participating). Durant’s suitors are wise to sit back and see if Nets management can handle that heat.
This situation is already awkward and there is no end in sight, the sides are not talking right now.