Kairi Irving wants nets, but do the nets want it?

When the Nets’ disappointing season came to an end after they were crushed by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, Kairy Irving made it clear he was committed to the Nets in the long run.

But after a season in which Irving played just 29 of 82 games in the regular season because he refused to order a local vaccine, do the Nets want him back?

The question arose at the team’s end-of-season press conference on Wednesday, led by general manager Sean Marx and coach Steve Nash. Although Marx did not want to give a clear answer, the fact that he did not immediately say “yes” said almost as clearly as he could have said anything. The Nets have not yet decided whether Irving can and should be part of their future.

“I think we know what we are looking for,” Marx said. “We are looking for guys who want to come in here and be something bigger than themselves, play selfless, play team basketball and be affordable. This applies not only to Cairo, but to everyone here. ”

This theme of accessibility was retained in Marx’s expressions and was a challenge for the Nets’s stellar players.

Irving and Kevin Durant signed for Brooklyn in 2019 with a big fuss, but the Nets have yet to reap the benefits of adding two multiple all-stars, each of whom has independently won the championship. Durant missed the entire 2019-20 season while recovering from an Achilles tendon injury he suffered with Golden State in the 2019 final.

Last season, they added James Harden by trading with Houston, creating what should have been an excellent squad. They lost to Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season, despite a 48-point lead from Durant in Game 7, who scored a 2-pointer and tied the game normally. His toe was on a 3-point arc – the shot was just a few millimeters before winning the game.

Instead of building on this closest omission, the Nets have gone back this season.

Irving refused to be vaccinated against corovirus, which meant he would not be able to play games in Brooklyn or Madison Square Garden for most of the season. The Nets initially decided they did not want a part-time player and said Irving would not play until all of them were right in the game. They abruptly changed course in January, and Irving began playing exclusively in road games outside of New York and Toronto.

On Wednesday afternoon, Marx refused to reconsider the decision, reiterating the importance of player access.

“When you have a Cairo caliber player, you try to figure out: How do we get him on the team and how long do we get him on the team?” Said Mark. “Because the team was built on saying, ‘OK, Cairo and Kevin will be available.’

The absence of Irving greatly reduced the limits of the Nets. Anytime Durant or Harden were injured, it meant the team was twice behind instead of just one. When they struggled with a coronavirus-related absence, like many teams, they had fewer players to rely on.

“There were different teams and teams playing to this day, they may not have had an excuse like we could use, but they also had to navigate Covid, they had to. “Navigation on injuries,” Marx said. “And if I was honest, they looked at him better than we did.”

Harden was tired of Irving’s absence and the challenges they posed. He moved to the Philadelphia 76ers, who play in Game 6 of the second round series against the Miami Heat on Thursday night.

In the trade, the Nets bought Ben Simmons, who did not play for them. Simmons underwent spinal surgery on May 5 after magnetic resonance imaging showed that the hernia had “expanded,” Marx said.

When talking about the big stars of the team, Marx was mostly talking about Durant alone. He said Durant was a draw for other players in the league – that people wanted to play for him. According to him, Durant is the coach of the development of the best players of the team. He talked about Durant’s involvement in personnel decisions, so as not to ask him to actually make those decisions.

“People think empowering players means you just give them the right to do what they want,” Marx said. “It was not the case that Steve was a player. It was not the case when I was a player on any of the teams we were on. It’s not like that here. I think getting players involved in key decisions at certain times of the season is the right way to do it. There is nothing worse than The players were surprised by something. “

Irving will return to the team whether or not it is only in the hands of the Nets. He has a player option worth $ 36.5 million for next season and can also extend $ 200 million over five years. If he refuses to choose his player, he will become an unlimited free agent.

She showed her dynamism on the court in several games this season, scoring 50 points against the Charlotte Hornets in March and 60 points a week later against the Orlando Magic.

But what good is this explosiveness if it does not play?

“I think there was a lot of debate, discussion, delay – whatever you want to call it – about distractions and issues beyond basketball,” Marx said. “While we want to focus on doing some of the things that have led us so far.”

Marx made the remarks in his opening remarks at a news conference Wednesday before asking anyone about Irving.

However, this coincided with the message he seemed to be sending throughout the press conference. It was a message to Irving actually, not just a contract, with a team that could use him more this season.

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