Kyrie Irving says he’s not going anywhere.
Following the Nets’ 4-0 loss to the Celtics in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, Irving expressed his commitment to signing a contract extension in Brooklyn.
“And in terms of my renewal, man, I don’t really plan on going anywhere,” he said. “So that, like I said, is that extra motivation for our franchise to be at the top of the league for the next few years. And I’m just looking forward to the summer and building things up here with our guys.”
And then, in typical Irving fashion, he dropped a bombshell. Signing an extension would mean another four years with superstar forward Kevin Durant. A reporter asked Irving if he and Durant agreed on being in Brooklyn for the long term.
“When I say I’m here with Kev, it really means that we’re building this franchise together with (Nets owner Joe Tsai) and (General Manager Sean Marks) and just our group of family members that we have in our dressing room, administer our organization,” said Irving, the new and self-proclaimed co-manager of Nets. “It’s not just about me and Kev, I don’t just want to take chances. We are cornerstones here. We’ve got Ben, we’ve got a few other guys that are under contract. We just need to take a few steps this off-season, really talk about it, really be aware of what we’re building.
LET MY TEAM FALL
Irving said the Brooklyn extrajudicial drama cycle eventually affected the product on the floor and regretted the way things played out.
Irving’s decision not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 played a big part in the Nets’ downfall this season. Due to New York City’s vaccination order, the Nets ruled that Irving would not be allowed to participate in road games until his January 5 debut in Indiana, and he was playing as a part-time player until then The mayor created a vaccination exemption for professional athletes in March.
“I just think it’s been really tough emotionally this season,” he said. “We all felt that. I felt like I was letting the team down at a point where I couldn’t play anymore. We tried to exhaust every game option for me, but I never wanted it to be just me. And it became a distraction at times.”
Irving’s decision not to get vaccinated and his subsequent absence placed a heavier burden on superstar point guard James Harden. Harden eventually became angered by his charge and forced himself to Philadelphia to trade Ben Simmons, Andre Drummond and Seth Curry.
“As you can see, we’ve just had some drastic changes. We lost a franchise player and got a franchise player back, but we didn’t get a chance to see him on the floor,” Irving said. “There was also no pressure for him to step on the floor with us.
“Ben is fine, we have Ben, we have his back, he will be good next year. Now we’re just turning the page and looking forward to what we’re building as a franchise and getting really tough.”
PRAY ON OUR DESCENT
Irving said that being eliminated from the first round of the playoffs brought sadness and disappointment, but also motivation for the future.
“It’s burning in my heart right now,” he said. “I know so many people wanted to see us fail at this point, picked us as contenders and have so much to say at this point. So I’m just using that as fuel for the summer and going into the season from October to get off to a good start as a team and hopefully we don’t hit any obstacles and we could just start over and be realistic with our own expectations and live with our team results, rather than being in the polarization of the media crowd and letting our names go for a series that comes naturally in people’s careers. So it is definitely exciting to bring this motivation into the summer.”
https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/04/25/kyrie-irving-says-hes-committed-to-nets-then-adds-he-co-runs-franchise-in-rollicking-press-conference/ Kyrie Irving says he’s committed to Nets, then adds he co-chairs the franchise in hilarious press conference – The Mercury News