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Let’s be honest, Kyrie Irving is a great basketball player, but he’s not a leader. This doesn’t mean he’s not philanthropic because he is. It doesn’t mean his thoughts on culture and vaccinations aren’t reflected by many because they are. What it means is that on the basketball court, Kyrie has proven time and again that he can’t be trusted to be on a team without causing internal turmoil.
Irving, who has a June 29 deadline on his $36.9 million player option for the 2022-23 season remains unsure of his playing future according to multiple sources at The Athletic. An impasse currently exists among the parties that clears the way for the seven-time All-Star and one-time NBA Champ to consider the open marketplace, those sources said.
Kyrie Irving dribbles off his own foot everywhere he goes
With the blindingly obvious and superior talent of Irving, it’s easy to become fixated on his individual greatness, yet, in a team sport, he has had a long history of leaving coaches, teammates, front offices, and fanbases feeling spurned.
Individually, he’s a sight to see, he can dribble better than most, swish impossible jumpers and finishes at the rim as good as any big man in the NBA. Yet, with all of the talent he’s demonstrated over the years, Kyrie Irving has yet to produce meaningful wins for any of his teams.
In fact, Irving’s on-court play is often averse to team success. Throughout his early career with the Cleveland Cavaliers, he struggled to get them to the next level. It wasn’t until Akron’s prodigal son, Lebron James, returned to Cleveland in 2015 that Irving would shine brightest on their way to a legendary 2016 championship over the Golden State Warriors. After winning the ring, predictably Irving and James fell out and he was sent to Boston. While only on the Celtics roster for two forgettable seasons, Irving’s time in Beantown left himself and the fans mutually disgusted, ending so bad Irving saged the court upon his return to TD Garden.
Kyrie is a basketball mercenary – not martyr
While Irving can do it all on the offensive side of the ball, his talents have been seen at an inconsistent pace for years now. Whether holding out due to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, practicing Ramadan, or leaving the Nets without notifying anyone, he’s rubbed a lot of people in Brooklyn the wrong way who expected to see him perform with regularity.
A player of Kyrie Irving’s talent level could easily stay with one team throughout his career and have players drafted or traded to build around him, however, because of his recurring actions and reputation as a bad teammate, he’s traveled team-to-team in search of a basketball home for the past five years and it seems he’s not done yet.
A Brooklyn Net for the time being, Kyrie Irving is now reportedly open to playing for a new team where he will surely bring the same energy he’s had throughout his career. While immensely talented, wherever he lands, the fanbase should understand Kyrie is a rental who will likely never take ownership of the spectacular yet inevitable flame-out coming your way.