Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant — but mostly Irving — have put the Brooklyn Nets through a lot.
They’ve called the shots in terms of who’s in and who’s out as a coach, threatened to leave, disrespected the GM, and have a grand total of zero NBA Finals appearances to show for that.
Irving went AWOL in his first season for personal reasons, yet he was spotted partying shortly after.
He didn’t care for Steve Nash’s coaching and even claimed that ‘anybody on the team could be a coach any given night.’
He refused to get vaccinated in his second season with the team, making just a handful of appearances and hurting the team’s chemistry before the playoffs, also costing them James Harden in the meantime.
He later claimed he was going to opt out of the final year of his contract before backpedaling when he realized he was leaving a lot of money on the table just to blindside Durant and demand a trade mid-season.
So, all things considered, it’s pretty clear that Irving is perhaps the most infamous player in Nets’ history already, which is quite an accomplishment after being on the team for less than four years.
However, coach Jacque Vaughn took the high road and had nothing but praise for the trouble-making guard, lauding him despite all the ups and downs:
“I enjoyed coaching him. We’ve had some ups and downs along the way. I’ve also seen the man score 60 points, bring his kids into the locker room, grow as an individual and be a better teammate than when I first met him,” Vaughn said.
"I enjoyed coaching him. We've had some ups and downs along the way. I've also seen the man score 60 points, bring his kids into the locker room, grow as an individual and be a better teammate than when I first met him"
– Jacque Vaughn on Kyrie Irving's tenure in Brooklyn pic.twitter.com/gOFx6whxMf
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) February 7, 2023
Irving is as talented as he is toxic, and his promises of staying on a team are borderline pathologic at this point.
He’ll have a difficult time finding a team that’s willing to sign him to a long-term deal this offseason, and it would be hard to blame GMs for passing on him.NEXT: Stephen A. Smith Talks About What Kyrie Irving Is Worth A Year