Kyrie Irving’s Nets free agency bet could cost him Kevin Durant

Kyrie Irving gestures, we react.

Fortunately, we’re not the Brooklyn Nets, the franchise that couldn’t predict all the circumstances over the past couple of years but had to know something was going to happen.

Somehow, they believed with Kevin Durant and the backdrop of his hometown, the New York area, that Irving could be happy – or at least smother him with enough care to prevent this same situation.

They defended him, they found excuses for him and when it came to finally holding him accountable, he wants to take the ball and go home, or anywhere besides the Barclays Center.

One thing Irving has always been right, whether it’s silly or spectacular, is fascinating. He gets the same attention when he’s funny as when he’s doing stunts behind the scenes.

The latter, a problem his third eye apparently couldn’t see coming, revolves around the Nets who are unwilling to give him a fully guaranteed maximum contract that will take him to around 30 years. He is threatening to take his part-time services elsewhere while he wants full-time prices.

Let’s see, a talent point but prone to injury-ish guard who, at any moment, will refuse to show up for training or matches, leaving his coaches and teammates to the wind, is upset by his current employer considering him unreliable?

Perhaps he was lulled into a false sense of security by all the public demonstrations of support from Sean Marks, Steve Nash and Durant. But they would soon learn what the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers had figured out the hard way: there is no way to make him happy.

It’s impossible.

Kyrie Irving will never be happy, whether or not she gets the Brooklyn Nets’ preferred contract extension. (Matt Stone / MediaNews Group / Boston Herald via Getty Images)

Now, Irving hasn’t been presented with the perfect situations in Cleveland when he first arrived there and even after LeBron James returned to northeastern Ohio. Irving wanted his voice to be louder, for him to matter more, both in the locker room and to the general public.

But it never took, and it frustrated him, of course.

Going to Boston and having to lead a group of young people was also not the ideal situation, and although he initially promised fans that he would sign again, he and Durant came up with an idea to play together, not entirely original given the latest. decade or so.

He wasn’t equipped to drive, his intentions weren’t supported by effective methods, but in his fairest mind he probably felt the lessons he learned along the way would help him in Brooklyn.

But the world went haywire and the NBA needed rules and structure to keep this money train moving.

Irving and structure do not get along, as it seems to work only in anarchy. He has lost more games than he has played for Brooklyn and a player in only one playoff series has won because of his problems.

Irving is guided by his own principles, whatever they are at the moment. Sometimes he can seem sincere, like reconnecting with a long-lost relative you have so much love for. On the next breath, he says and does something that reminds you why there was so much distance in the first place.

No situation is unforgivable in and of itself, although his refusal to be vaccinated caused a domino effect that ended with a four-game sweep at the hands of the once young Celtics.

Each micro step creates the macro ladder and in the end it is not a ladder to NBA heaven.

Why is it always him? And is there always something stopping him from going out and exhibiting his God-given personal ability to play this game?

It’s easier to defend on the ground than off, and at its best between those four lines, it’s indefensible. But here is the corner where the Nets have voluntarily leaned.

Irving’s talent has always been worth more to them than other franchises considering they needed a foothold in the New York area and the league in general. Durant and Irving gave a black and white franchise some color and the Nets had to give them some leeway.

Irving the colors out of line and tested the infrastructure he was still building. His influence has always been positioned alongside Durant in opposition to his own worth, the value required by his talent but his resume never seemed to show.

He wanted all the loot of being the kid in the franchise, but he never put in the necessary sweat equity, more telling than showing. Perhaps his vulnerability gained some grace in moments, but that doesn’t mean one is capable of leading.

Anarchy is not logical, and neither are wage demands.

If Irving were a player capable of lifting all tides, if he were one whose mere presence inspired teammates to play with and for him, he would not only have the Brooklyn Nets as realistic suitors, but every team without a point guard. All-NBA.

He is not a loser, but there is a question of how individually he affects the win. It can be the perfect complement to the perfect situation, but those circumstances don’t arise except for seismic changes in a landscape.

And the NBA’s tectonic plate has no room for another one at the moment.

It is not reliable on several levels and, deep down, it knows it.

He’s challenging the Nets to let him test the free agent market, and the Nets know he doesn’t want to leave Durant.

If he were to leave, there would be no franchise that could absorb both Irving and Durant, so he would leave his friend with very little chance of reuniting. He wants to stay, but stay on his terms with the money and the perceived influence that comes with it.

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets watch in the closing seconds of their 109-103 defeat to the Boston Celtics during the Eastern Conference first-round NBA playoffs third game at Barclays Center on April 23, 2022 in New York City.

Are Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving really willing to step away from the Brooklyn Nets and each other? (Al Bello / Getty Images).

Irving arguably has more influence in driving conversation in the NBA than he practically does in the building he appears in from time to time. An incentive-laden contract goes against his sensibility because, in the greatest display of self-awareness he could show, he knows he won’t always be around.

It will be something – a birthday, an anniversary, a full moon, an eclipse – that will keep him from going to work that day or week.

Accepting a contingent deal wouldn’t set an unattractive precedent for the future, any more than the whole fiasco reflects on NBA players as a whole, with CBA talks on the way.

Irving is one of one, in every possible way.

Saying Irving “means good” has always been a fallback, because he was a young man trying to find his way in an environment that only has room for so much mercy.

At some point, though, it can’t be everyone else’s fault, it can’t just be special intentions or circumstances.

At some point, professionals have to be professionals.

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