The Nets thought Kyrie Irving would save them, now it sounds like they just want to get rid of him

Tomase: Nets may have finally learned that Kyrie is not worth the trouble that originally appeared in NBC Sports Boston

Superstars are the NBA’s most valuable commodity. Building a list means finding one and then saving it for as many zeros as the CBA allows. Sign his friends. Hire his father. Let him choose the coach. Whatever it takes, because without it you are royally elegant.

However, some superstars have a habit of wasting their welcome. Such a player never lacks a job, because the next organization believes that it can satisfy him where everyone else has failed. They please his eccentrics, change his moods, soothe his whims.

Maybe it means treating him like a de facto general manager or turning a blind eye to Hollywood side projects that cannibalize his time, or belatedly allowing him to play road games, even though his refusal to be vaccinated in a city with mandates tears your team in parts.

Maybe the superstar in question is actually Kyrie Irving, and maybe the Nets have learned a lesson that will soon make someone else’s greatest ball ruler a problem – he’s just not worth the effort.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, both sides are at a standstill, with the June 29 deadline for Irving’s $ 36.9 million option. Expected to join and sign a maximum extension, Irving may instead join a free agency where the Lakers and Knicks (laughs) may be among his suitors. The former could cry over their new big trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Kyrie. The latter will be declared again on the map (again).

We will know the rest better. If he does leave Brooklyn, Irving’s new club will soon find that burning the world’s sage will not clear the organization of its toxicity. Just ask the Celtics.

Irving almost destroyed them, first with his presence and then with his absence. He spent two turbulent years condemning the “young guys on this team just don’t understand it” to paraphrase, and yet he never once thought that maybe part of his job included helping Jalan Brown and Jason Tatum to they understand it.

The Celtics reached match 7 of the 2019 finals of the conference in 2019 without him – a match he missed because nose surgery could not wait a day – and then exploded spectacularly a year later with him, his last moments in the green they spent kicking stones while the Bucks set it on fire for procrastination.

He has promised to re-sign, with his only presence likely to attract another Boston superstar, only to join Kevin Durant in Brooklyn for what he considered returning home in a sleek video that should be a red flag. Hello everyone, see my brand! You can’t write “I’m the Brooklyn Nets” without KYRIE!

But now it turns out that the Nets may have had enough. Irving has just completed the deployment of his special brand Chaotic Narcissism in the 2021-22 season. The refusal to vaccinate meant he could not play or train in New York and set him aside until mid-December, when the Nets finally allowed him to play on the road.

So far, All-Star teammate James Harden was enough, and in February he forced the Sixers to exchange for injured guard Ben Simmons. So much for the NBA’s new big three. The trio of Irving, Harden and Durant ended up playing only 16 games together. Would Harden have wanted to leave if Irving hadn’t missed most of the season? We will never know, but his absence has certainly contributed to the club’s dysfunction.

Even Irving’s return to full-time work at the end of March could not save the season. The Nets needed the tournament to secure No. 7 against the second-placed Celtics. Leading Irving caught fire in Game 1 with a brilliant 39-point effort, but he played the turnstile in Jason Tatum’s winning game of Twilight, was fined for obscene gestures to his former home fans, and was searched the rest of the way, on average. 15 game points on the way to clearing.

Thomas: Tatum has everything he needs to win the title in his own way

It was hard to miss how much better the Celtics were without him, Tatum and Brown staring at the stars, Marcus Smart slipping into Irving’s old job as a point and becoming Defender of the Year, new coach Name Udoka who could lies the law in ways that Mr. Nobody tells me what to do I would never accept.

As if to reinforce the idea, Irving had the courage to say that he imagined “running the franchise together” with owner Joe Tsai and GM Sean Marx, and his powers of deception were fully demonstrated. Marx emphasized this assertion, noting that his priority was to build a team of players who, among other things, would be “available”.

So here we are, with what must be the Nets’ obvious decision – to keep Irving with Durant – to move to the point where they can let him go, although there is no obvious way to change him. They cannot spend his money on someone else and are severely hampered in terms of leverage in any option to choose and trade.

Being able to let one of the league’s most breathtaking talents go for nothing tells you everything you need to know about its real impact on the franchise. Knicks, Lakers or Clippers or whatever will no doubt be excited to take it. They will declare the past a thing of the past, and Irving will share his enthusiasm for starting a new chapter in his personal journey. He will probably even smile and be charming.

Then he will take on the job of being Kyrie, and I have only two words for his new franchise:

Good luck.

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