Picture a basketball player who is only six feet two inches tall. The player may be the best combination ball handler and scorer that ever played the game. Being small and talented makes him beloved by most fans. That is what Kyrie Irving should have had.
Now let’s look at reality, that player plays in a little more than half his team’s games. That player believes he deserves a max contract for playing. But that’s not all that player has done to hurt his reputation.
In no order he has been a negative influence to three different teams. This after pledging himself to two of those teams. He told one team’s fans (Boston) that he wanted to re-sign with them a year before he decided he would not re-sign with them. Then he told the other team (Brooklyn) he was now home and that he was a fan of his new team growing up. He also said he wanted to finish his career with that team. The first team he played with won a title. He was the teammate of the best player in the game and his clutch shot helped win that title. He was beloved in that town, Cleveland but it didn’t matter.
Kyrie wasn’t happy and wanted out.
But wait, there’s more
But that’s not all. He refused to play in “the bubble” and tried to talk other players out of playing there. He took two weeks off because he was upset and didn’t want to play. Various reasons were given for his not playing. He refused to take the vaccine leading him to sit out half a season. He made anti-semitic remarks and tweeted support of a film that was anti-semitic. This led to a suspension.
He had the nerve to say after a disappointing four game sweep in the playoffs that, “I’m here with Kev, I think that it really entails us, you know managing this franchise together along side Joe and Sean“. Joe is Joe Tsai and Sean is Sean Marks they are the owner and GM of the Nets. This from a guy who missed much of the sea
Yet Kyrie thought after being a good boy for two months after serving his suspension this year he could get his contract extended for max money. When the Nets refused to offer it he then asked for a trade. Loyalty is not his best character trait. Loyalty to his teammates and the franchise that supported him. He didn’t care that he was to leave the team in the middle of the season creating a mess for his team.
It’s funny how professional sports work. Talent is most important and every coach and GM thinks they can handle problem players. So now Dallas is the team that will try to tame him. I hope it works because people should remember his talent when he’s gone from the game but deep down I don’t think it will.
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Its the tipping point for NBA. Kyrie has become the poster child for the AAU highlight generation. Team concept comes last after self importance and needs. The league is now forced to make a decision at the next collective bargaining agreement comes up. Its a juxtaposition between the popularity of the game being at all time highs between sneaker and apparel sales vs. dismal tv ratings. All that stems from the “Kyrie” mentality of no loyalty to the fans that pay the salaries. The cost involved to take your family to see your favorite team on any given night and risk seeing 3 of the starters on the bench on a load management night is crushing for the league. That along with the players signing half billion dollar deals and demanding trades at a whim put the game some many love in a dangerous position.
Kyrie has become the poster boy for the issues that cone from the AAU generation. Team concept is last on a long list of self importance based on points and highlights to post on social media. The AAU generation plays on multiple teams year round and if something isnt perfect you just quit and play somewhere else. The NBA is at a crossroads where apparel and sneaker sales are at alltime highs while ratings are crashing. This is do to the lack of regard for the integrity of the game and concern for the fans that pay the $50 million p/ year contracts. The cost of taking ur kids to see their favorite player on a load management night cant be calculated. Add the fact that signed contracts mean nothing more then the paper they are on because a player can demand to be traded at a whim or sit out put the league in a difficult spot. Why play defense if it will take away from the energy you need to score and put up 15 3s. These are all issues the league needs to address at jeopardy of losing a tremendous product that players like MJ, Magic, Russell and Bird built.
Thanks for your comments they are well taken. I believe you are correct about the AAU generation but there is another reason why it has gotten the way it is.
Most young athletes are spoiled if they are talented. Coaches will acquiesce to them because we all know talent wins. That young athlete grows up believing he is entitled to the behavior that the Kyrie’s of the world display.
I understand the NBA is losing its luster to the common fan. It’s for all of the reasons you mentioned.The thing that keeps me around is the fact that these athletes are the best in the world at basketball and they keep getting better.
My love of the game keeps me coming back no matter how many Kyrie’s are out there.