Brooklyn Nets fans might have praised Kyrie Irving when he played in his first home game. But it looks like the organization isn’t quite as forgiving.
Nets general manager Sean Marks was asked about the star point guard on Wednesday and did not mince words when asked about whether the team wanted to sign Irving to a contract extension this offseason.
“We’re looking for guys that want to come in here and be part of something bigger than themselves, play selfless, play team basketball and be available. That goes not only for Kyrie but for everybody here,” Marks said.
Irving missed almost all of the Nets’ home games and a good chunk of the start of the 2021-22 season because he refused to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Although Brooklyn eventually brought him into the fold for away games to help beef up the injury-plagued roster, Marks clearly didn’t see the level of dedication he wants on the team.
“I think those are going to be discussions,” Marks said. “It’s a team sport and you need everybody out there on the court.”
Marks also acknowledged the culture isn’t quite what he wants it to be coming off a season highlighted by injuries to major players including team figurehead Kevin Durant. The GM said he hasn’t yet talked to Durant about the status of the team going forward, although he admitted the superstar will be kept in the loop.
“At the end of the day, I mean more often than not, it’s myself making those decisions,” Marks said, via ESPN. “It’s not me going to Kevin and saying: ‘Do you want this person? Do you want that person? Do you want that guy?’ I don’t think that’s fair to place that on Kevin.
“Now, is he surprised by anything? Absolutely not, because he will know ahead of time what we’re doing, what we plan on doing with, to be honest with the entire roster.”
How those discussions impact the future of the Nets’ roster — and whether Kyrie Irving will still be on it — remains to be seen.