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#pounditWednesday, May 31, 2023

Kyrie Irving responds to rumor about his crazy contract demands

Mar 15, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving opted into the final year of his contract with the Brooklyn Nets after the two sides were unable to agree on an extension. If a rumor that surfaced this week about the demands Irving made is accurate, is it hardly a surprise that Irving and the Nets could not find middle ground.

Ric Bucher of FOX Sports said on his “On the Ball” podcast this week that Irving wanted some absurd clauses in his next contract with the Nets. The seven-time All-Star supposedly asked for a guarantee that he would not have to play more than 60 games in a season. He also wanted assurances that he would never have to play games on back-to-back nights, which is a situation that Bucher said Irving finds to be “inhumane.”

“(Nets owner) Joe Tsai has already shown he’s willing to play hardball with Kyrie by taking a max extension off the table almost immediately,” Bucher said, as transcribed by Jacob Elsey of BroBible. “Now, part of that may be Kyrie’s doing. I’m told he wanted his new contract to guarantee he wouldn’t have to play more than 60 games in a season and would not have to play any back-to-backs, which he apparently referred to as inhumane.”

Irving responded to the report on Twitter, sharing a GIF of someone taking off their hat.

That seems to be Irving’s way of calling the report a “cap,” which is slang for a lie.

There were rumblings that the Nets wanted incentives in Irving’s contract that were tied to how many games he played. That is a lot easier to believe given all the drama that surrounded Kyrie over the past two seasons. He could not play in home games for much of last season due to his vaccination status. The year before, he was away from the Nets for a while for personal reasons.

If it were any player other than Irving, we would say there is no way Bucher’s report is true. Irving’s reputation makes it easier to believe.

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