BROOKLYN — Nets general manager Sean Marks wasn’t bitting when he was asked about Kyrie Irving’s departure from Brooklyn.
Irving had told reporters the day prior that his exit from Brooklyn “was in the works like after Year 1.” It was just the latest comments from Irving, who has been taking pointed shots at the organization since he was traded on Sunday.
However, Marks sidestepped questions about Irving’s departure and specifically his most recent comment.
“I don’t want to speak for Kyrie and how he was thinking the whole way through here,” Marks said. “We weren’t the last team standing like like you heard me say, I think it’s easy to reflect and go back and say, well, this, that or the other and so forth. Whether it’s pointing fingers or what have you, I think we have to internally look at did we do everything we could have done. Could we have done more, sure, but I think that’s on everybody.
“That’s on the individual that’s on the team that’s on the organization. So, again, I don’t want to speak for Kyrie and you know, and I wish nothing but him and his family all the best.”
The ending of Irving’s time in Brooklyn was ultimately the catalyst that moved the Nets to trade Kevin Durant early Thursday morning. His tenure with the Nets was filled with drama off the court and questions over his availability during the season.
Irving missed a third of the 2021-22 season due to his refusal to get the COVID vaccine and was suspended eight games this year for sharing a link on his social media to a film filled with antisemitic tropes. He also missed time for personal reasons after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
All of that contributed to a deterioration of the relationship between the Nets and Irving as time went on.
“I don’t think anything has surprised me now. You know, just being in the NBA. Things change on a daily basis,” Marks responded when he was asked if he was surprised by the request. “But again, it is our job to sort of know the lay of the land here. When a request like that does come in, it’s just to go back and to have done our due diligence and know whether it’s what the asking price is or where we want to go and also just have good communication with that particular player, with Kyrie.”
Marks recognized the work that Irving, along with Durant, put in during their time in Brooklyn and noted the skill that Irving brought to Kings County.
“I wish nothing but the best for both of them, their families and so forth,” Marks said. “And, you know, they’ll they’re taking their talents elsewhere, like all the other basketball fans out there to watch them and, and we’ll be watching from afar, but our focus now is on the guys in that locker.”