Kyrie Irving recently caused a stir with comments he made on a Twitch livestream. The All-Star point guard was unexpectedly candid in the stream about the Brooklyn Nets and their recent playoff elimination at the hands of the Boston Celtics. Irving commented how the sweep in the playoffs was “humiliating” for the Nets and also how they will handle next season.
“We got 4-0’d my G. We got 4-0’d. It was meant to be that way. Motivation brother. We needed that humble experience, especially against the Celtics. It was already built to be that matchup. We’re going to see them again, we’ll have to. They will be where they will be. But those youngsters over there in Boston, bro, I’ve seen them grow up. So to see them do what they did on the podium of the final last year, to get this far, I’m glad they got through us.” said Irving.
Irving went beyond explaining how last season’s elimination affected the team, but also a goal he set for himself for next season. One of those goals is to be a “complete player” and get it off the floor on both sides. Irving shared the goals after being asked what the plan is for next season.
‘Pick them up. Pick them up. Got to get it up on both sides of the floor, mate. I have to be a complete player,” Irving said in the Twitch stream. “I’m coming for different hardware this season, mate. I’ve been in the lab.”
After a summer of messy contract negotiations, Irving is in a contract year. The All-Star point guard and the Nets could not agree on a long-term contract extension, nor could they find a trading partner for Irving. They had many talks with the Los Angeles Lakers to help Irving and LeBron James reunite in Hollywood, but the Laker never offered a package that the Nets wanted for Irving.
With Kyrie on a contract year, some have already shared their MVP-caliber expectations they have for the controversial point guard. Irving has a lot to prove and must play at a high level to land the contract he wants next season. This year, the Lakers were the only team to chase Irving in the open trading market. Can a strong season change that in the coming year?
However, according to Irving in this recent quote, the MVP trophy isn’t the only award the superstar is going for. He noted a desire to increase his game on both sides of the floor and bring in an additional defensive presence. “I’m coming for different hardware this season.” Whether it’s the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award or an NBA Defensive First Team nod, Irving notes he has something to prove next season.
The Nets’ growth through this experience of their elimination and the off-season is critical to his future with the franchise. While some analysts are predicting the star will have an MVP-caliber season, an NBA GM told Heavy.com that Irving and his expiring contract could be dealt with on this year’s trading deadline if the Nets don’t win. Asked for reports that Durant can be traded on the trade deadline the director noted that it wouldn’t be KD trading in February, but it could be Irving.
“Not by the deadline, no,” the Eastern Conference Executive told Heavy’s Sean Deveney when he mentioned Kevin Durant. “Maybe, because of his contract, Kyrie is going to be a free agent. So if the year is a disappointment early on, yes, then you should at least explore the trading market on Kyrie. You won’t get your money’s worth because of all the baggage Kyrie carries and because it would probably be a short term rental. We’ll see how the Lakers fare, but if they’re having a good year and feel like they’re only a Kyrie away from the fight next year, they’ll get him next summer So that pulls down its trade value.”