This is not about the vaccine. Of course, the vaccine Appeared Because Kyrie Irving has been the NBA’s most polar player this season. He refused to get the shot (s) recommended by the science community and needed staff for New York City, which prevented him from playing most of the Nets’ home games this year, and he became part of our national knife competition: He should be vaccinated, everyone should be vaccinated, he should not be vaccinated if he does not want to, some of these vaccine rules are meaningless, what happened to freedom, etc. But many athletes have refused the vaccine. Irving chases people away savagely because of what he has done to his team.
In the summer of 2019, he signed a four-year, $ 136 million contract with Irving Nets. In all three seasons, he has played in only 103 of his team’s 226 games – partly due to injury, but mostly due to his own choices. Prior to the vaccination issue, he took leave without any explanation. Nets coach Steve Nash said he did not know where Irving was, and general manager Sean Marks said he was “disappointed” Irving was “not in the trenches with us”. Then Irving said it was a family affair. He also violated the league’s health and safety protocols. He takes great pride in having different priorities than the public expects from professional athletes, to the extent that you think his priorities are not as important to him as they are different.
Now here he is, going to the post-season play-offs as one of the most exciting players in the NBA. The Nets don’t really look like a team all year round. James Horton came and went. Ben Simmons did not come and play. However, the Nets are dangerous in the 7th-row of the tournament, and this raises an embarrassing question: If Kyrie Irving and the Nets somehow drive this spring and win the championship, what does that say about the league?
The NBA is in a different place now. It is undeniably growing as a business and cultural institution, but as a competitive sport, it has lost its way.
In Michael Jordan’s last five seasons, he has played a full 82 games four times — not because he was inhumane, but because the players did it. In 2002-03, 46 players played in all 82 games (including Jordan, who turned 40 that year, he later retired). That’s the job: if you can play, you did.
Commissioner Adam Silver recently said he noticed a trend of “star players not participating in full-scale games,” but that was an old song. Five years ago he called the sitting of the stars “the most important issue for our league.” He is no closer to the solution now than he was then. Seasonal matches can be fun and motivate players to play, but before and after they relax. The executives of the winning teams have decided that it is more important for players to be healthy and well rested than for home-court gain. Managers of failed teams will be bad with young players — oh, horror! —Trying to put their best teams on the ground.
At this price, fans should expect a team to try. And in the long run, they are There are Try. The night you show up with your kids they don’t have to try.
Irving did not create an environment where players would skip sports for reasons unrelated to health. But the NBA is now a league where healthy players often sit, sometimes earning a ton for a long time. The Rockets paid more than $ 44 million not to play healthy former All-Star John Wall this year because he did not fit into their long-term plans. All Irving did in Brooklyn was he did it in a league where avoiding sports was part of the culture.
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This generation is defined by the movement of basketball players, which is an empowering part of the players, which is the result of realizing that when star players are technically employees, teams really work for them. When LeBron James returned from Cleveland to Miami-Cleveland to Los Angeles, he did so as the owner of a team shopping for a better stadium contract: LeBron James Inc. It signed a four-year lease in South Beach, after which its CEO decided to change it. Back offices.
But when James does that, he always makes basketball a priority. Kevin Durant is no exception. James moved to Miami to win his first title, where he went to Cleveland, at least to Los Angeles, as there was no clear path to greater success in Cleveland. Durant joined the Golden State team, which won 73 games, won two titles, and then went out to prove he could win somewhere else.
கைரி? He played in three straight finals, had the best player in the world on his team and demanded trade. He was traded to the Boston team, it should have been rising, he said he would be there, and then played with Durand for Brooklyn. It seemed like a step towards success, but it is now clear that it is not so much. Throughout his life, Irving has been looking for something different.
“He’s not your average joke, obviously, is he?” Former New Jersey Governor Richard Cody says he was briefly coaching and in touch with Irving when he was younger. “You know, some of the things he says are not what you expect, are they?” so what? It does not make him a bad person.
not that. Cody says that Irving is wary of defining himself exclusively as a basketball player: “He knows, ‘I have to start watching the day I do not play in the NBA. What will I do with my life?'”
Thinking about life after basketball … refusing to see himself as an athlete … using his platform for benevolence and social justice … it’s so awesome. The Nets, however, signed a $ 136 million basketball deal in anticipation that he would play basketball.
It seems reasonable to think that a high-paying professional athlete should work on a regular basis, but Irving twists the idea that we should see him primarily as a professional athlete, and he does not seem to care about getting a higher salary. He lost his salary for home games as part of an agreement between the NBA and the players’ association that included players who did not comply with local vaccination orders. With his absence from the last three years, teams need to be vigilant when he attacks the free agency again. (When the Nets decided to let him sit for all the games, they paid him for the road games he played.)
Since Irving seems to have no involvement in what we think he should care about, it is easy to assume that he will miss the beginning of the earth and be happy to be free in the summer, losing the beginning. But since he does not need basketball, Irving can play incredibly well in high-pressure situations.
We never really saw what Irving could do with Durant and Horton, and we have not yet seen what he can do with Durant and Simmons. But we saw what he did with James. Over the past few years it appeared several times that Irving was not interested in his team. He did some things that didn’t work in the NBA 20 years ago or in the NFL today. His team stuck with him anyway. It may become worthwhile for them. But what is the price of the league?
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