Kyrie Irving will be an NBA free agent this summer.
A native of West Orange, NJ, a stones throw from the skyline of New York City, Irving did grow up liking the then-New Jersey Nets when they ran the NBA’s Eastern Conference during the days of Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson.
He was a fan of Kidd.
“Not many people have that niche and that feel for the game,” Kyrie Irving told me after Kidd was hired as the Brooklyn Nets’ head coach in 2013.
“Watching him play was a pleasure.”
That Nets team that made back to back trips to the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003 was coached by Byron Scott who lived in Livingston, NJ; a neighboring town to West Orange, during his Nets coaching tenure.
Scott would later coach Irving earlier in his career with the Cavaliers.
Irving’s dad, Drederick is a native New Yorker from the borough of the Bronx; as is Irving’s godfather, Rod Strickland.
Strickland had seen Irving dribble the ball from time to time in the backyard and used to tell Drederick Irving, “He’s going to make you some money.”
Million Dollar Question: Is there a snowball’s chance in heaven that Irving would join the Brooklyn Nets?
“I don’t, Bleacher Reports Ric Bucher told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“If Kyrie is kind of creased about the young guys on the Boston Celtics, young guys who went to the Eastern Conference Finals last year and questioned how that whole dynamic works, I don’t see what the appeal is for him to go to Brooklyn, which has lesser talent. I mean, I think they’re maximizing what they have, it’s impressive that they’re doing what they’re doing. But I see far more big picture potential with Boston.”
Bucher also cites home proximity as a drawback for Irving. “The other thing that people seem to overlook is that guys, by and large, don’t want to go home,” he tells Scoop B Radio.
“Because when you go home, everybody expects you from kindergarten on that you’re going to take care of them and you’re going to get them tickets and you’re going to show up for their events. And like, when it’s a plane ride away, it’s a lot easier to keep everybody at bay and not complicate your life, or even if you’re willing to do all that, now you’ve just put a whole other thing on your plate. So I know as many guys who have said, ‘yeah, I don’t, I love where I’m from and I love going home in the summer, but being there year-round, playing there? Man, that’s a weight that I do not want to carry.”