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#pounditWednesday, February 1, 2023

Articles tagged: Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving has message for his former team Celtics

Kyrie Irving looks on during a game

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 is putting his former NBA team on notice.

Appearing on a Twitch stream this week, the Brooklyn Nets guard Irving spoke on being swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs last year. Irving called it “a humbling experience” but cautioned Boston that they would be seeing the Nets again.

“It was meant to happen like that,” said Irving. “Motivation, bro. We needed that humbling experience, especially going against the Celtics. It was already built in to be that matchup.

“We gonna see ’em again,” Irving added. “We gonna have to. They gonna be where they gonna be. But those young-uns over there in Boston, bro, I got to see them grow up. So to see them doing what they did last year, on the Finals stage, making it that far, I’m glad they had to go through us.”

Here is the video (but beware that it has bad language).

The seven-time All-Star Irving played in Boston for two seasons from 2017 to 2019 but left for the Nets in free agency on icy terms. Last season’s playoff matchup against the Celtics was his first postseason meeting with his former team since departing. The series proved to be extremely hostile, as Irving had multiple obscene moments with the Boston crowd. The Celtics won 4-0 though and eventually advanced to their first NBA Finals in over a decade.

Irving will now be running it back with Kevin Durant in Brooklyn for at least one more year, and they will be flanked by new additions TJ Warren, Royce O’Neale, and Markieff Morris (plus hopefully Ben Simmons, who still has yet to play a game for the Nets). With that core, Irving is feeling confident about their chances of getting another stab at the Celtics next postseason.

Kyrie Irving makes surprising revelation about himself

Kyrie Irving looks on during a game

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

Short of jumping the Grand Canyon Evel Knievel-style to test out Newton’s laws of physics, Kyrie Irving can’t really do too much more to shock us these days. But his latest comments about himself this week were at least a little bit surprising.

The Brooklyn Nets guard Irving appeared on the latest episode of HBO’s “The Shop.” During the episode, Irving made the revelation that he is actually a natural lefty, having been born left-handed.

“Catholic school didn’t let me stay left-handed,” said the seven-time All-Star. “Absolutely [I was born lefty]. I was getting slapped on the hand for writing with my left hand. That was old-school. This was in ’96.”

Here are Irving’s full remarks (but beware of some bad language).

We have become accustomed to Irving shooting the ball with his right hand throughout his NBA career. But the fact that Irving is actually ambidextrous helps explains why he is so adept at dribbling and finishing at the rim with his left as well.

Many consider the 30-year-old Irving to have the best handle in the entire league. Mind-boggling viral videos like this one show that Irving is indeed just as skilled with his left hand as he is with his right.

Report: 1 NBA star has been taken off trade block

Steve Nash at a press conference

Mar 31, 2018; San Antonio, TX, USA; Former basketball player Steve Nash speaks during the NBA Hall of Fame press conference at the Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

It was not all that long ago that the Brooklyn Nets seemed destined to blow up their roster, but they have reportedly informed rival teams that they have no interest in trading at least one of their star players.

The Nets have informed teams that inquired about Kyrie Irving that they plan to keep the star point guard, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. Irving, who opted into his $37 million contract for next season, has supposedly had constructive conversations with Nets executives and has been working out with teammates this summer.

Of course, it could simply be that no team is willing to give up anything significant in a trade for Irving. The Nets undoubtedly listened to offers for Irving at some point. They have seemingly had conversations with multiple teams. Considering they were unwilling to give Irving a long-term max contract extension, it would stand to reason that they are not fully committed to him. Brooklyn’s decision to take Irving off the trade block — if they even truly have — likely has to do with Irving’s value.

The Nets may be taking a similar stance with Kevin Durant. A recent report claimed they want to see what their team looks like with Durant, Irving and Ben Simmons playing together.

Durant is trying to turn up the pressure on the Nets, but the team may continue to call his bluff. Perhaps Irving can help convince his (former?) best friend to stick around for one more season.

Report hints at Nets’ stance on Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving

Kevin Durant looks up

Apr 23, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) looks up at the scoreboard in the third quarter against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets and Kevin Durant remain at odds, and there does not appear to be any resolution in sight. That may be by design, at least in the case of the team.

In an appearance on ESPN’s “Get Up!” on Thursday, Brian Windhorst said the Nets and Kyrie Irving appear to be on the same page. Windhorst added that Irving understands his best shot at the long-term contract he wants is to have a successful season with Brooklyn. As far as Durant goes, the situation is uncertain, but the organization appears to be setting a clear stance to other teams despite his trade demand.

“Right now, I think the Nets want to run this team back, and they’re hoping that Kevin Durant agrees,” Windhorst said. “The way that they’re conducting trade talks and the prices that they are asking has teams out there thinking they don’t really want to trade Kevin Durant anyway. They want to bring this team back.”

Windhorst had previously characterized the state of things between Durant and the Nets as a “stalemate.” Brooklyn has no desire or incentive to trade their star player. Durant is trying to make the Nets feel otherwise, possibly by causing as much disruption as possible.

The Nets’ resolve may next be tested if Durant takes one drastic step. Until then, it does not sound like a Durant trade is really on the table.

Kyrie Irving could be pursued by 1 surprising team?

Kyrie Irving looks on during a game

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 may be getting a lifeline from elsewhere in the East.

An unnamed Eastern Conference executive told Heavy’s Sean Deveney this week that the Miami Heat could potentially revisit a trade for the Brooklyn Nets star Irving. The Heat were previously linked to a possible move for Irving (though before free agency began and dominoes started falling).

Miami, as now constructed, do not seem like a logical fit for Irving. They already have a buffet of ball-handlers from elder statesman Kyle Lowry and frisky former All-Star Victor Oladipo (whom the Heat just re-signed) to the reliable upside piece (and reigning Sixth Man of the Year) Tyler Herro and a two-way guard with more growth potential in Gabe Vincent. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo also command significant touches from other positions.

That makes this latest rumor somewhat surprising. The case for Irving is probably that he only has a year left on his contract and nothing but cricket chirps on his trade market (meaning that he could be had for a bargain). The seven-time All-Star is also known to be close with some of the Heat’s stars.

Kyrie Irving responds to rumor about his crazy contract demands

Kyrie Irving looks on during a game

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.

Kyrie Irving’s camp disputes latest explosive report about him

Kyrie Irving in warmups

Jan 15, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) stands for the anthem before a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving is trying to cleanse the negative energy surrounding him in the press right now.

Mark W. Sanchez and Josh Kosman of the New York Post reported this week that the Brooklyn Nets guard Irving supposedly “hates” head coach Steve Nash and GM Sean Marks.

“[Irving] feels that Nash is terrible and Marks is bad,” the report quoted an anonymous source close to the Nets organization as saying.

Soon after the report came out, Irving’s camp disputed the claims made in it.

“I am not sure where this narrative is coming from but Kyrie does not hate Steve nor Sean,” Irving’s agent and stepmother Shetellia Riley Irving told the New York Post. “That’s not a part of his being nor how he represents himself in the world. He’s about peace, love and acceptance.”

The drama comes a few days after fellow Nets star Kevin Durant’s reported ultimatum for the team to get rid of Nash and/or Marks. Nash just finished his second season as Brooklyn’s coach while Marks has held the team’s GM job since 2016.

In comparison, Irving has actually been the less problematic of the Nets’ two stars recently. But just because Irving does not hate Nash or Marks, it does not necessarily mean that he is the president of their fan club. For Nash in particular, Irving reportedly pulled a disrespectful move on him last year.

Nets dropping notable hint about Kyrie Irving?

Kyrie Irving looks on during a game

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

The toxic relationship between Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets appears to be swinging back the other way.

In a series of Instagram posts this week, the Nets seemed to indicate that tensions with Irving were cooling. The seven-time All-Star Irving hosted a pro-am event on Thursday at Kean University in Union, NJ, close to where Irving grew up and attended high school. Irving himself played in the event, dubbed “More Than A Run,” and the Nets went out of their way to share several photos of Irving doing so on their official social media pages.

By the same token, Ian Begley of SportsNet New York reports this week that Irving is in “a good place” with the Nets and is comfortable about heading into the 2022-23 season. The report cited “a source close to Irving.”

As for the Nets themselves, they have been very intentional in the past about omitting Irving from their team websites, so the fact the team is now posting him again feels like a sign that the relationship has improved.

At least for the moment, it is a good business move for the two sides to play nice. There are nothing but crickets when it comes to Irving’s trade market right now, so the possibility of Irving being moved could be contingent on a Kevin Durant trade, something that may not even happen itself. Meanwhile, Irving is only signed for one more year. It might make sense at this point for both sides to swallow their pride and play out the 2022-23 campaign.

There is likely still a lot of work to do when it comes to Irving’s relationship with the Nets. But this all looks like a major improvement from just a few weeks ago when the Nets were reported to be considering a drastic move just to rid themselves of Irving’s stench.

Potential Kyrie Irving to Lakers trade has 1 catch

Kyrie Irving in a jersey

Apr 25, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts during the second quarter of game four of the first round of the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

There has been chatter for a while that Kyrie Irving might end up with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets have even had trade discussions surrounding the mercurial point guard. But there might be one catch regarding a potential Irving trade.

Lakers reporter Jovan Buha published a mailbag on The Athletic Wednesday and discussed a possible Irving trade. Buha says Kyrie wants to come to the Lakers, whether that is now or next season.

The Nets apparently have been holding out for the Lakers to increase their offer to two first-round picks. But there is another issue.

Buha says the Nets do not want to take on Russell Westbrook’s salary. Westbrook is owed $47 million this season, so he would be part of a trade involving Irving in order to make the salaries match up. But Westbrook would be routed to a third team willing to eat the veteran guard’s salary in such a trade.

Westbrook might be amenable to such a deal too.

The former NBA MVP recently fired his longtime agent, who advised Westbrook to try and make the best of his situation with the Lakers. Why would Westbrook want a different agent unless he thought it was in his best interest to play for another team? Ultimately, the Nets can stand firm until the Lakers decide to give up more in a trade. Just know that if the Nets do a deal, they won’t be taking back Westbrook.

Kyrie Irving hinting at when he could retire from NBA?

Kyrie Irving looks on during a game

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

Lost in the Kyrie Irving circus of the last year-plus is that the man himself is now in his 30s. Now Irving may be hinting at when he could call it quits.

The Brooklyn Nets star tweeted a video on Friday of the late Kobe Bryant praising his game back in 2018.

When a fan responded that Irving was “gassing [himself] up” (slang for hyping himself up), the seven-time All-Star replied with a lengthy message.

“I don’t ever have to Gas myself up,” wrote Irving. “I am going on my 12th year in the best league in the world and I am only getting better. When I am 38 years old and have time to reflect on my career truly, I will do so, but until then, I am enjoying every moment.

“And no I won’t be done playing basketball at 38 years old lol,” Irving added. “I’ll be in leagues all over the world playing and teaching the youth all that was taught to me.”

38 is an oddly specific age and seemed to many to be Irving hinting at when he sees himself being retired. He will turn 31 next year, so playing until 38 (if does do so) would give him roughly seven more years in the league.

Of course, Irving is notoriously fickle and could retire tomorrow without it being totally surprising. But Irving did seem to hint back in 2017 (when he was just 25 years old) that he was open to retiring early.