Sports world critical of latest Kyrie Irving rumor of guard opting-out of $36 million player option

NBA world reacts to Kyrie Irving
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) drives past Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, left, during the first half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series.
AP Photo/John Minchillo

With the latest news that Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets were at an impasse over contract negotiations, the NBA world, again, turned to the Brooklyn sideshow. 

Irving has only played in 103 games over the last three seasons for a number of reasons. 

Injuries, the COVID-19 vaccine controversy, and even just sitting out games for personal reasons have all attributed to the uncertain future for Irving and the Nets. 

With the Athletic’s latest report that Irving could be looking to opt-out of his $36.9 million player option this off-season, the NBA world has come out of the woodwork not even a full week after the NBA Finals ended.

“When it comes to a lengthy contract … it’s not just about your abilities. It’s about your availability and your willingness to be available to capitulate and participate in the best interest of TEAM.” Stephen A. Smith said on First Take this morning. 

The latest contract talks have spurned other teams to reportedly be interested in the former NBA Champion. The Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers and even New York Knicks are rumored to be interested in Irving. 

With Irving wanting a max deal, it appears the lack of playing time has not been missed by the Nets, who are looking out for their own interests. 

“It seems to me, they (Irving and the Nets) are kind of fed-up with each other” Undisputed host Shannon Sharpe said on Monday. “Kyrie doesn’t like how they hung him out to dry, they don’t like how Kyrie feels he can just take time when needed.

“Kyrie became the worst story in the NBA this year” Skip Bayless added. “He completely undermined the unity of that team.”

Irving to the Knicks?

Even New York radio hosts have seemingly turned the page on Kyrie’s future in Brooklyn. Some have even gone so far to compare the controversy surrounding Brooklyn to the New York Knicks. 

“my team stinks no doubt but imagine having KD, Harden and Kyrie and never getting past the 2nd round of the playoffs and then losing Harden and Kyrie and hoping that Ben Simmons is the answer – this cant be the plan KD had when he came here” WFAN host Craig Carton tweeted out.

Carton would later go on to make his pitch for Kyrie to go to the Knicks saying he would be the best point guard the team had in fifty years. 

Carton’s radio partner, Evan Roberts was less than thrilled.

“What the hell are we doing” Roberts tweeted. 

While a contract dispute normally has both sides telling different stories at the same time, it doesn’t mean a deal cannot be reached.

The deadline for Kyrie Irving to decide if he will opt-in or out of his deal is June 29th, so either way an answer to the Nets future will be determined by the end of the month.

For more Brooklyn Nets and Kyrie Irving coverage, turn to AMNY.com