Kyrie Irving was flying high after his return to full-time action for the Brooklyn Nets this season, enjoying some stellar games and putting up grand performances in his return to action. Things were looking good and the Nets seemed like they were clicking at just the right time to make a good playoff push.
All of that has crumbled within the matter of a week, Brooklyn finds itself down 3-0 against the Boston Celtics and is somehow on the cusp of being swept in the first round. Many factors have caused this predicament, poor coaching decisions, a shooting slump for KD, and the Celtics' being good have all contributed to it.
However, the dysfunction around the team has existed long before that, and a lot of people and fans seem to blame Irving for it. James Harden reportedly moved on after having issues with Kyrie, and the person they got in return, Ben Simmons, is yet to see the floor for his new team.
All things considered, NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith has laid into Irving for all the issues that he has seemingly brought to the Nets with him, with SAS claiming that he would never give Kyrie another long-term contract.
"Kyrie Irving is box office, this brother deserves $50 million a year. I would never give him a long-term contract again. He cannot be trusted. You pay him one year at a time. I don't care how much money he gets, you pay him on year at a time. You know why? Cuz you gotta make sure he shows up to work.
"This man has played in 11 seasons in this NBA. He has played over 60 games 4 times and there's 82 games in the season. He is one of the absolute professionals at missing work. I'm not giving him a long-term deal, you got to be crazy."
Since he joined Brooklyn 3 seasons ago, Irving has featured in just 103 regular-season games, with various injuries and off-field controversies accounting for a lot of that. It's hard to build a team around someone that's not too reliable in terms of availability, even if they're as good as Kyrie, so it remains to be seen what the Brooklyn Nets decide to do in regards to Irving's future.