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As a Los Angeles Lakers fan, the news of Kyrie Irving demanding a trade from the Brooklyn Nets last week gave me hope during what has been a rather upsetting season so far. I thought for sure that Irving would team back up with his old teammate that helped him win his only NBA championship in LeBron James.
I’m not someone who defends Irving for most of what he says or does. He’s made headlines after being suspended for posting an antisemitic movie to his social media and missed home games due to NYC’s anti-vax mandate, but the hate and vitriol he’s gotten over the last 48 hours seems misplaced.
On February 3, after news of the trade demand hit the internet, Irving tweeted some encouragement that was very cryptic at the time but left fans to wonder if it was in regards to his trade demands. Irving preferred to be traded before the February 9 trade deadline, or he would leave via free agency in July, making Brooklyn lose him for nothing.
Kyrie Irving sticks it to the NBA
When news broke Sunday that Irving was being traded to the Dallas Mavericks I was crushed, and also a little confused like most NBA fans and analysts.
There hasn’t really ever been any public kind of relationship or friendship between Irving and Mavericks star Luka Doncic, so why there?
Then the details of the trade and discussions behind the scene began to be leaked by NBA Insiders. During the initial contract negotiations between Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets, the Nets reportedly offered an extension to Irving that was tied to the team winning a championship, something that’s unprecedented in sports contracts, according to Chris Haynes.
On top of what Irving’s camp viewed as a disrespectful offer, news came out that Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai reportedly did not care where Irving ended up as long as it was not to his preferred destination, the Los Angeles Lakers.
So in an attempt to try and stick it to the NBA All-Star, the Nets traded him to a team that nobody imagined (he hasn’t signed a contract extension yet, so he could still leave in July and go to a team of his choosing).
Most people would not want to work for an employer who puts outrageous stipulations on their contract for employment.
They would look to be employed elsewhere and go to an organization where they are appreciated, and in my opinion that’s exactly what Irving did here, the same thing most of us would do.