After a weekend in which LeBron James and Russell Westbrook couldn’t even pretend to like each other for five minutes and multiple reports that the Lakers and Nets have reached an impasse in ongoing trade talks over Kyrie Irving, it appeared like this whole saga has both reached supreme silliness, and may well continue for a few more weeks.
But while the latter might have been true, it turns out the former couldn’t be further from the truth, at least if you believe the latest rumors surrounding Irving’s future. That’s because, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Postsomeone described as a “source close to Irving” claims he plans to play for the Nets next season and doesn’t even want to get out:
Another source close to Irving told The Post that not only has the all-star point guard never asked for a trade, but he’s adamant about playing for Brooklyn — with or without Durant.
“How did we get into this trading situation when he decided to do it?” the source asked rhetorically. “Here is the situation. He’s signed up, which means he intends to play with the Brooklyn Nets. KD decides he wants out and now everyone is talking about trading Kyrie right?
“Kyrie didn’t ask for a trade. If the Nets don’t want him, that’s a different story altogether. Kyrie hasn’t said he wants a deal. He signed up. [So where did] are the trade talks coming? Is it because KD requested a swap and now everyone wants let’s swap Ky? Kyrie made that choice.”
OK, but seriously: Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
But okay, let’s talk about it. I’m going to channel my inner Brian Windhorst and ask some questions about what’s going on in Brooklyn. Because this was a weird leak. A very strange leak.
I wonder: What would a source close to Irving, who speaks a bit like an attorney representing some sort of client, gain by telling a reporter this? Is it from the goodness of her heart? Was it your childhood dream to only be quoted anonymously in the New York Post and you wanted to cross that off your wish list? Does Kyrie really just want to let Nets fans know that he plans to play for them but is somehow unable to do so without an unnamed leak?
I think in theory all of these things are possible, but that also happens to sound a lot like a few possible things…
- Longer term, this could be a bit of damage control to make the Nets look like the “bad guys” for dumping Kyrie when he really, really wanted to fulfill his commitment to his hometown team and see them in the fall, and definitely didn’t just , because he found he had no better options after getting permission to seek sign-and-trades.
- Also, and probably more importantly, there may be hope here that such a leak would lead the Lakers to improve their offer and speed this up, rather than taking their time and not wanting to negotiate against themselves like they are have done so far.
- Finally, this could be an attempt to slow down leaks from teams calling reporters to specifically tell them, sometimes profanely, that they really don’t want Kyrie, which can’t be good for his brand. Yeah, well, he doesn’t want to play for you either! He just loves the nets so much!
All of this could be possible motivation for someone close to Irving – maybe someone he sometimes asks questions about his future? – to announce on his behalf that he would be fine going back and forth and playing for the Nets and to describe in clinical terms how he has actually shown that he is fully committed, by choosing to do so, something no player who wants out has ever done, obviously. I wonder who would fit that description? As Kyrie tends to do on occasion, I only ask questions.
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