Kyrie Irving was in the news for various reasons over the past couple of seasons. His refusal to take the vaccine, sitting out for home fixtures and playing on the road games, his finals performances; everything was being scrutinized. And now after accepting 1-year stay with the Nets, Kyrie is trying hard to be back on the court with a bang. In “The Odd Couple” podcast, analyst Rob Parker said that Irving, in a contract year, needs to show other teams that he’s serious about basketball and that is how he could save his career.
Brooklyn Nets refused to give Kyrie an extension for multiple years that forced him to try for a new franchise. But other franchises also showed him ‘thumbs down’; leaving no option but to opt-in with the Nets for his final season.
Talking about his current situation in the league, NBA analyst Rob Parker said, “Kyrie’s playing for his reputation and career. He has no (long-term) deal. He can’t play around. … You’ve already seen the pushback from other teams now. Right? They’re tired of his antics. He really has to have a good year and let people know he’s serious about playing basketball.”
Kyrie Irving has to carry the Brooklyn Nets in the 2023 season.
Former Duke Star Kyrie Irving is one of the league’s top-floor generals. He had shown in the past that he can do wonders with a mediocre team like the Cleveland Cavaliers of 2011-2012. He won the Rookie of the season award with his eye-catching performances, despite playing for a struggling team. With a decade of experience under his belt, and a better support cast to play with Kyrie can certainly do better in the regular season than that with the Cavs.
Recently also, Irving has shown the ability to be a dominant force. Though he played in just over 100 games for the Nets in 3 seasons, he averaged well above 27 points, per game – the best scoring stat in his 11-season career.
Irving is still only 30, so he should have plenty of basketball left. With Seth Curry, Patty Milles, Joe, Harris, and T J Warren all confirmed with the Nets, Kyrie can dictate plays for the shooters around him. Kevin Durant’s stay and Ben Simmon’s availability would be an added advantage for the Nets, but if the megastar guard can concentrate on his own gameplay, that would make team a playoff contender.
Kyrie Irving should be extra motivated, as he will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. All those teams that refused to sign him for the 2023 season, would have their eyes on Kyrie Irving’s performance. Last season, Irving averaged 27.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game while shooting 46.9%, including 41.8% from 3-point range.
Irving headed into the offseason with a player option, and many analysts believed he might decline that to become a free agent. Instead, Irving used his option. So, if he could play for 60+ games for the Nets with similar production, his stakes in free agency would be high.