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Kyrie Irving reaffirms commitment to Brooklyn heading into offseason full of questions

Kyrie Irving
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.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving doesn’t plan on going anywhere, at least that’s what he’s saying right now. 

The Nets point guard reaffirmed his commitment on Monday following the Brooklyn Nets Game 4 loss that ended their season early. With the offseason now upon the Brooklyn-based NBA team, Irving’s future with the organization is sure to be one of the many issues that general manager Sean Marks will need to deal with. 

Irving has a player option for the final year of the four-year contract he signed with the Nets in 2019 and it is expected that he’ll opt-out in favor of negotiating an extension. 

“In terms of my extension, man, I don’t really plan on going anywhere,” Irving said. “So this is, like I said, this added motivation for our franchise to be at the top of the league for the next few years. And I’m just looking forward to the summer, and just building with our guys here.”

The Nets will go into the offseason trying to pinpoint what exactly went wrong this season and how to correct it for the next year. Irving certainly played a part in the madness that occurred during the course of the year due to his vaccine status. 

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) talks to forward Kevin Durant (7) during the fourth quarter of game four of the first round of the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center.Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

He missed the first quarter of the season and then was limited to just road games until March, when New York City Mayor Eric Adams amended the private sector vaccine mandate to allow unvaccinated pro athletes to play in NYC venues. Irving’s play also was an issue during the postseason, where he averaged 21.3 points per game during the series against the Boston Celtics. 

Those numbers were buoyed by a 39-point performance in Game 1. He scored 10 and 16 points in Game 2 and Game 3, respectively. 

Even with the chaos, though, Irving remains a massive part of the Nets’ blueprint for the foreseeable future. Along with Kevin  Durant, the pair is also expected to help shape the game plan going forward, at least that’s what Irving believes. 

“When I say I’m here with Kev, I think that really entails us managing this franchise together alongside (Nets owner Joe Tsai) and (general manager Sean Marks) and just our group of family members that we have in our locker room and our organization,” Irving explained. “It’s not just about me and Kev, I don’t want to make it just about that. We’re cornerstones here. We have Ben (Simmons), we have a few other guys that are under contract. We’ve just got to make some moves this offseason, really talk about it, really be intentional about what we’re building.”

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The early playoff exit will put massive pressure on the Nets front office as well as Irving and Durant next season to prove Tsai’s investment had been worth it. Especially after the lackluster playoff performance from Irving. 

The Nets superstar said that the experience from this year and the frustrating end will be a tool to motivate himself for next season. 

“It’s just burning in my heart right now,” Irvig said. “I know so many people wanted to see us fail at this juncture, picked us as contenders and have so much to say at this point. So I’m just using that as fuel for the summer and coming into the season starting from October, and just getting a good start as a team and hopefully, we don’t run into any barriers, and we could just start fresh and be realistic with our own expectations and live with our team results rather than be in the polarization of the media scrum and having our names be dragged for a series that naturally happens in people’s careers. So it’s definitely exciting to have this motivation going into the summertime.”

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