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Scottie Pippen Criticized Kyrie Irving For Joining Nets Instead Of Lakers And LeBron James In 2019: "Do You Want To Go To New York, Be Frustrated, And Playing With Losers Pretty Much.”

Scottie Pippen Criticized Kyrie Irving For Joining Nets Instead Of Lakers And LeBron James In 2019: "Do You Want To Go To New York, Be Frustrated, And Playing With Losers Pretty Much.”

The NBA landscape was shaken up significantly in 2019 when the Brooklyn Nets acquired both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in the hope of creating a new dominant force in the Eastern Conference. Irving's relationship with the Boston Celtics had deteriorated and KD was looking to move on from his successful, albeit much-criticized stint with the Golden State Warriors. 

While a lot of fans and media members were excited by the move, declaring Brooklyn to be championship contenders after Durant returned from injury in 2020, Scottie Pippen was not convinced. Right after Kyrie Irving's trade request to move to Brooklyn, Pippen had expressed his disagreement on ESPN (via EssentiallySports), suggesting that Kyrie was making the wrong decision by not teaming up with LeBron James and Anthony Davis in Los Angeles instead. 

"I still think that you know Kyrie over the last couple of seasons, I’ve seen a lot of things in his career. And I think the comfort that he has with LeBron. The familiarity, the opportunity to win a championship with AD as well. It makes it a no-brainer. Now, do you want to go to New York, be frustrated, and play with losers pretty much?”

“Well, bad teams find a way to lose. But at the end of the day, this is a great fit for Kyrie. I think it’s the opportunity for him to reunite with LeBron and get to the top of the NBA again.“

While Brooklyn adding James Harden to their roster might have made Scottie's words about 'playing with losers' a bit redundant, various issues have kept the Brooklyn Nets from really challenging for the championship in Kyrie's two seasons with the franchise. Part of it is due to Irving, who has missed time through injuries and for personal reasons, as well as missing 35 games this season thanks to his stance against getting the COVID-19 vaccine. 

In the meanwhile, LeBron and Anthony Davis have already delivered a championship to Los Angeles in 2020, even if they are themselves currently struggling this season. With Kevin Durant injured for another month or more and rumors about James Harden's future, it may be that Pippen was right about Kyrie Irving choosing the wrong move for himself after all.