Kyrie Irving had laid his conditions before signing with the Brooklyn Nets, including a LeBron James type treatment.
Nets guard Kyrie Irving has a player option worth $36.9M heading into the off-season. However, the former champion publicly stated that he doesn’t intend to go anywhere else and is looking to sign a max extension with the franchise.
The 2021-22 season had Irving make more noise off the court than on, courtesy of his anti-vaccination stance. Over his three seasons with the Nets, Irving played 103 out of the 226 games. The former ROTY has earned the tag of being unreliable and unprofessional for his antics.
Irving, who had signed with the Nets in 2019, had laid certain conditions with the management. Some of these assurances included having a say on the roster and expecting a LeBron James type treatment. Uncle Drew aimed to hold leverage, considering he was bringing Kevin Durant on board.
Irving aimed to manage the Nets franchise alongside owner Joe Tsai, GM Sean Marks, and KD.
Kyrie Irving wanted special powers on the Nets roster.
In what many believe, Irving wanted to be the pioneer in building a culture for the Nets franchise. The seven-time All-Star didn’t hesitate to take advantage of bringing two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant on board for the Nets, with both of them not choosing the popular choice of going to the Knicks.
Irving demanded a say on the roster, expecting a LeGM treatment, to which the Nets management readily agreed.
According to Heavy.com’s Steve Bulpett,
“When Kyrie signed as a free agent, he basically said, ‘I’ll come and I’ll bring Kevin Durant.’ And in return, the Nets agreed that he could have a say in the roster decisions.
“It’s not uncommon at all for general managers to talk to their top players about possible trades and free agents. That’s just smart. You’re paying your guy big money, and you want him to be on board. Plus, your guy might have another view of a situation or a player that you haven’t considered. But with Kyrie, they talked this out beforehand. He wanted a situation like LeBron has—or like he thinks LeBron has.”
While Irving expected to have this kind of preferential treatment, he has failed to provide the results for the Nets organization. The former Cavs guard has had other things on his mind before basketball. In his three seasons with the Nets, Irving has failed to get past the second round of the playoffs.
During a recent press conference, Nets GM Sean Marks made some powerful statements relating to expecting a certain level of commitment from its players, which would hopefully serve as a message for Irving.