Report: A Brooklyn Nets superstar might’ve played his final game with team

Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, Kevin Durant, (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, Kevin Durant, (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

According to a report, Brooklyn Nets superstar Kyrie Irving may have already played his final game with the team.  This is according to Marc Stein (subscription required) who states that “There is growing pessimism in various corners of the league that Kyrie Irving will ever play for the Nets again.”

This news comes after Kyrie Irving was suspended for linking to a video that contained antisemitic messaging and for his frankly disappointing response to the criticism of his actions. Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai then gave Irving a checklist to complete in order to be reinstated from his indefinite suspension, but he doesn’t appear to be making any headway on that list.

The Brooklyn Nets will have to make a tough decision regarding Kyrie Irving.

As a result, Stein’s sources believe that he might have played his final game with the Brooklyn Nets. Saying sorry and taking the necessary steps to make amends shouldn’t be this difficult, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that Irving would rather take another hollow stand than do the right thing. Last season, he missed 53 games after refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

That led to a massive distraction and possibly caused fellow superstar James Harden to demand a trade. The Nets received star Ben Simmons in return, and that’s caused a whole separate string of headaches. If Irving is really done with the Nets, it would be the third team that he has essentially quit on, with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics also feeling the mercurial wrath of Kyrie.

He can become a free agent after this season, and while the Nets might look to trade him, his value has to be at an all-time low. They could look to reengage the Lakers about a possible deal, but the Lakers have little incentive to trade any assets in addition to Russell Westbrook.

Would an Irving for Westbrook and a future second be enough, in the event that he declines to make amends? Possibly. Say what you want about Westbrook, but at least his issues are on the court, i.e., he actually plays enough to have on-court issues.

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All in all, the Nets have plenty of distractions, and if the Irving situation drags on, they may be better off cutting ties with him, one way or another, and moving forward.