As the Nets’ disappointing season came to an end after they were defeated by the Boston Celtics in the first East Coast tournament, Kyrie Irving has made it clear he has committed to the Nets for the long term. .
But after a season in which Irving only played 29 of 82 games regularly because he refused to comply with the local immunization system, does the Nets want him back?
That question passed through the team during a press conference ended Wednesday hosted by General Manager Sean Marks and Coach Steve Nash. When Marks declined to give a definite answer, he did not immediately say “yes” as clearly as he could. The Nets have yet to decide if Irving can and should be a part of their future.
“I think we know what we’re looking for,” Marks said. “We are looking for men who want to come here and be part of something bigger than themselves, play without themselves, play in a team, and so on. That’s not going. for Kyrie only but for everyone here. “
The meaning of that is constantly present throughout Marks ’speech, and has been challenging for the Nets’ star players.
Irving and Kevin Durant have signed with Brooklyn for a stellar performance in 2019, but the Nets have yet to reap the benefits of adding two more multi-star seasons where everyone wins on their own. Durant missed the entire 2019-20 season when recovering from Achilles’ hamstring injury he held in the 2019 final with Golden State.
Last season, they added James Harden by doing business with Houston, establishing what should be a good business product. They lost to Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season despite 48 points in Game 7 by Durant, who hit a buzzer-beating 2-pointer to tie the game in regulation. His toes are on a 3-point arc – the shot is just millimeters from the game-win.
Not a house nearby, the Nets have been back this season.
Irving refuses to be vaccinated against coronavirus, which means he will not be playing in Brooklyn or at Madison Square Garden for most of the season. The Nets initially decided they did not need a part-time worker, and said Irving would not play until he was eligible for all of their games. They switched quickly in January and Irving began specializing in sports outside of New York and Toronto.
On Wednesday afternoon, Marks declined to reconsider the decision, reiterating the importance the player has.
“Once you have a player of Kyrie’s caliber, you try and know: How do we get it in the mix and how long can we get it in the mix? ” Marks says. “Because the group has created an environment that says, ‘Well, Kyrie and Kevin will be there.'”
Irving the can makes Nets’ margins worse. Every time Durant or Harden is injured, that means the team has lost twice, not just once. As they have been associated with the inability to interact with the coronavirus, as many groups have done, they have few players for whom to rely.
“There are a lot of teams out there and teams that are still playing today, they will not have much of an excuse that we can come up with, but they have to walk Covid the same way, they have to do it. “Walking was dangerous,” Marks said. “And if I were to be honest, they walked better than we did.”
Harden tired of Irving for not coming and the challenges they owed. He was transferred to the Philadelphia 76ers, playing in Game 6 of their second match against the Miami Heat on Thursday night.
In business, the Nets got Ben Simmons, who did not play for them. Simmons underwent surgery on May 5 after magnetic resonance imaging showed “herniation had expanded,” Marks said.
In talking about the big star team, Marks often refers to Durant alone. He says Durant is a draw to other athletes around – that people want to play for him. He says Durant is the team’s best player development coach. He said he wanted to join Durant in the decision-making process of the staff, not to mention his real decision.
“People think that encouraging players means you just let them do whatever they want to do,” Marks said. “It wasn’t like that when Steve was a player. That was not the case when I was an athlete on a team we’ve been. This is not like this. I think joining with players on important decisions of special points in the season is the way to do it.There is nothing worse than having players surprised by something sort. “
Even Irving’s return to the team is not in the hands of the Nets. He has options for players next season worth up to $ 36.5 million and is also eligible for the next season worth up to $ 200 million in five years. If he refuses to accept his choice of player, he will become an unrestricted free agent.
He has shown his strength on the court in many games this season, scoring 50 against the Charlotte Hornets in March and then 60 a week after the Orlando Magic clash. .
But what use is a crack if it does not play?
Marks said: “I think there is too much controversy, discussion, scuttlebutt – everything you want to call it – about the impact, and about things that are outside of the game,” Marks said. “When we want to focus on doing something that gets us here in the first place.”
Marks made the remarks in his opening remarks at Wednesday’s news conference, before anyone asked him about Irving.
He fits, however, with the message he seems to have sent throughout his press conference. It’s a message for Irving about following the right path, not just a promise, for a team that can use it a lot this season.