Nets Star Kyrie Irving Calls Out Former Team After Playoff Loss

Kyrie Irving

Getty Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics celebrates the game winning basket as Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets looks on during the fourth quarter of Round 1 Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs

Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets had a whirlwind year in the 2020-21 NBA season. From Irving being sidelined due to his stance with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate in New York City to their embarrassing first-round elimination in the NBA playoffs in a match-up against the Boston Celtics. 

The Nets star point guard recently spoke out about being eliminated by the Celtics and what it means for the Nets moving forward on a recent live stream. 

Kyrie Irving Sounds Off on Celtics Elimination

“It was meant to happen like that, motivation bro,” Irving said. “We needed that humbling experience, especially going against the Celtics. It was already built to be that matchup. We gonna see them again, we gonna have to. They’re gonna be where they gonna be.”

Irving has climbed back against all odds to return to the Nets’ good graces. After a rocky summer, he is making every step to improve his relationship with the franchise, and these recent statements are encouraging for Nets fans and this upcoming season. The All-Star point guard suggests it is what the team needed and that the team will be ready to face them in the upcoming NBA season. 

Kyrie Irving Last Season

Irving was criticized throughout the entirety of the NBA season for his stance on the COVID vaccine and what it meant for his team as he was forced to miss home games with the team, and the point guard even had fingers pointed his direction after their playoff elimination. Arguments that had Irving been around for more of the season and available to play, the Nets would have finished in a higher seed and met an easier team than the Celtics. Not only would their seeding be better, but the team would be more used to playing together and even may not have been forced to trade James Harden at the February trade deadline. 

The drama that swirled around Irving throughout the season rolled over into the offseason, where the superstar had a rather messy contract negotiation with the Nets. Brooklyn was unwilling to sign the star point guard long-term due to a rumored lack of trust with the star. That left Irving flirting publicly with the Los Angeles Lakers, seeking teams for a sign and trade partnership with the Nets, and even willing to take less money and sign for the $6 million mid-level exception. Ultimately Irving committed to return the the Nets for the final year of his contract and is set to run it back with the core of Irving, Kevin Durant, and Ben Simmons. 

Kyrie Irving Could be Shopped at the Trade Deadline

The Nets growing from this experience of their elimination and the offseason is crucial to his future with the franchise. While some analysts are predicting that the star will have an MVP-caliber season, one NBA GM told that Irving and his expiring contract could be dealt at this year’s trade deadline if the Nets aren’t winning. When asked about reports that Durant could be traded at the trade deadline the executive noted it wouldn’t be KD traded in February, but it could be Irving. 

“Not at the deadline, no,” the Eastern Conference Executive told Heavy’s Sean Deveney when talking about Kevin Durant. “Maybe Kyrie, because of his contract, he is going to be a free agent. So if the year is a disappointment early on, then yes, you would at least have to explore the trade market on Kyrie. You won’t get good value because of all the baggage Kyrie has and because it would probably be a short-term rental. We’ll see how it goes with the Lakers, but if they have a good year and feel like they’re just a Kyrie away from contending next year, they’ll be in a position to get him next summer. So that drags down his trade value.”


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