Kyrie Irving is back to being a full-time basketball player after Eric Adams announced that the superstar point guard would be exempt from New York City's vaccine mandate earlier this week. He and Kevin Durant are now tasked with carrying the Brooklyn Nets deep into the postseason after an injury-riddled regular season that has left the Nets near the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. That quest will begin in earnest tonight as Brooklyn travels to Miami to take on the No. 1 seed Heat.
On the afternoon of the game, Irving declared his intention to re-sign with Brooklyn and promised he wouldn't leave his buddy Durant hanging. Irving is eligible for another max extension this offseason; his current contract runs through next year.
Hm. When was the last time Irving announced his intentions to re-up with his current team way before he needed to and in public? Let's step back in time, folks.
Sounds real familiar, don't it?
There are obviously a couple of significant differences between then and now. Then, Irving was the best player on the Celtics. Now, he's the second-best player on his own team because he has Durant, arguably the best player on the planet. Irving also left Boston in part because he wanted to play for the team he rooted for growing up. There isn't another one of those out there, looking to steal Irving away from Brooklyn.
And after everything he's pulled over the last year and a half (his sabbatical after the January 6 insurrection, the vaccine issue, etc), there is legitimate reason to wonder if anybody else would actually want him around. Irving is a magician on the court but to call his off-court antics distracting would be underselling the matter.
But he said he'd re-sign in Brooklyn. So all is well. Right?