A year ago today, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving signed with the Brooklyn Nets. Both players made it clear of their intentions to sign together, and were considered a package deal all along.
Upon their announcement to sign with Brooklyn, pundits across basketball crowned the Nets huge winners of the offseason. They immediately began speculating as to how many championships this franchise could ultimately win.
Fast forward a year later, and the Nets are coming apart at the seams, as three key contributors have announced their plans to sit out the remainder of the NBA season. Wilson Chandler, DeAndre Jordan, and now Spencer Dinwiddie have all decided against returning to action, as social injustice issues coupled with the growing concerns surrounding the coronavirus have stymied their desires to play again this season.
Thus, the Nets will be incredibly shorthanded this summer, and won’t be a factor in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Durant and Irving are currently on the shelf with injuries and have decided to shut it down for the remainder of this season. They are both expected to be fully healthy come next season, and don’t want to jeopardize anything by playing too soon.
Up and Down 2020
The Nets underachieved immensely all year long, as Irving saw his season limited to 20 games this season due to nagging knee and shoulder injuries.
Durant wasn’t expected to play at all in 2020 as he was recovering from a torn Achilles suffered in last year’s finals, but still played a seemingly devious role in the Nets struggles this season.
He and Irving reportedly instigated the firing of former head coach Kenny Atkinson, as neither of them seemed comfortable with his up-front coaching style. Both players wanted to get a ‘yes man’ type coach who would give them full control of the team, so they could play out their careers on their own terms.
Atkinson was not only a great coach, but had absolutely no business being fired, as he took this young Nets team to the playoffs last season. He’s been known to be a great developer of young talent, as he was a major reason why players like Caris Lavert, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Jarrett Allen had such good seasons in 2019.
He was considered by many as one of the brightest young minds in basketball, and will certainly get another head coaching job sometime soon.
What’s Next for Brooklyn
Irving has done his best to divide this Nets locker room since arriving in October, as he hasn’t been shy to call out teammates on a number of occasions. From an emotional perspective, he’s always been known to be moody, erratic, and downright irrational, so this comes as no surprise since he teamed up with another headcase in Durant.
These are two fragile players who want to do things on their own terms, as this sense of entitlement has followed them throughout their careers. They always appear to be seeking validation from others — constantly taking to social media when times get tough. They lack any sense of mental toughness or fortitude, which has ruined their image amongst NBA fans and media members.
Brooklyn better hope these two can get their minds right for next season, as patience could be running thin amongst the front office if they can’t reach their ultimate goal of a championship.
This starts with hiring a head coach who can get along with the veterans on the team, as many expect former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Ty Lue to be the frontrunner for the job due to his experience with star players, including Kyrie Irving.