Kyrie Irving Sounds Off on Nets Ahead of Marquee Matchup

Kyrie Irving of the Dallas Mavericks.

Getty Kyrie Irving of the Dallas Mavericks.

Kyrie Irving turned the NBA on its head last February when he requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets after three seasons with the franchise. Irving’s tenure with the Nets included much turmoil. He missed most of the season in 2021 because he refused to get the New York City-mandated COVID-19 vaccination. And last season the Nets sidelined him for posting the link to an antisemitic film on Twitter.

The seemingly never-ending turmoil was one of the reasons Irving and the Nets were believed to be on opposite sides of the fence as it pertained to a contract extension. But the Dallas Mavericks star insists there is no bad blood between him and the franchise.

“I was never on bad terms with the organization,’’ Irving told the New York Post. “I just think there was a lot of chaos and noise, as usual, from the media. I’m not going to blame you guys or anything, but nobody really knew what was going on behind the scenes. I’m sure that people have their sources they go to [about] what was going on and what really happened.”

With the Mavericks having the ninth-best betting odds to win the 2024 NBA title, it is safe to say that Irving made the right choice.

Nets Tried to Trade Kyrie to the Lakers

With the Nets having a turbulent season in 2022 and Irving preparing to enter the final year of the contract he signed in 2019, Brooklyn tested the waters on the trade market for their starting point guard the following summer.

But after rarely playing in his first three seasons with the Nets, rival teams questioned how much Irving they would get in a potential deal. As a result, the market for a trade for Kyrie at one point seemed to be Lakers or bust.

In July 2022, Chris B. Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that the Lakers and Nets briefly engaged in trade talks that would have swapped Kyrie and former NBA Most Valuable Player Russell Westbrook. Haynes noted there was “optimism” between the sides that they could reach a deal, but that never came to fruition.

Kyrie Details Relationship With Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant and Irving arrived in Brooklyn as a collective in 2019, looking to curate a new hoop culture in New York City. But just as quickly as they arrived, is as quickly as they departed, and the 7/11 era of Nets basketball never really got off the ground.

The Durant and Irving divorce happened abruptly. Some even questioned whether their relationship had soured over their three-and-a-half seasons as teammates. But following his Brooklyn departure, Irving said that nothing has changed between him and Durant.

“I’m just praying for his happiness and praying for his well-being. We had a lot of conversations throughout the year of what our futures were going to look like. There was still a level of uncertainty. But we just cared about seeing each other be places that we can thrive whether that be together, whether that be apart,” Irving told reporters after his Mavericks debut in February.

“There has never been one moment where I felt like he’s been angry at me for decisions I’ve made, or I’ve been angry at him. We just tried to understand each other a lot better and grow as human beings, grow as brothers.”

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