Somehow, someway, the narrative surrounding the media is that the Brooklyn Nets view Kyrie Irving as expendable, and would trade him if given an opportunity.
That led Nick Wright of Fox Sports to go out and say that he’s heard Irving would simply retire if the Nets were to trade him.
It should be worth noting that Wright is a talk show host and isn’t a journalist. Otherwise, Adrian Wojnarowski or Shams Charania would be all over this story.
Isiah Thomas Claims About Kyrie Irving Importance
Nonetheless, that led legendary point guard Isiah Thomas to chime in his thoughts.
“The LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavs that came back and beat the Golden State Warriors after they had a 73-9 season — and LeBron James was off the charts in every statistical category — but the Cleveland Cavs do not win the championship without Kyrie Irving on that team,”
“Put me down on record. The Brooklyn Nets with the team constructed the way it currently is, cannot, and will not, win the championship if he is not there. Period.”
Thomas is absolutely right in his assessment. Forget about the fact that Kevin Durant could’ve very well picked the New York Knicks over the Nets if it wasn’t for Irving growing up a Nets fan while living in New Jersey. Having Irving on the team gives this roster so much flexibility when it comes to Steve Nash picking out his rotations.
James Harden has stated many times that he wanted to come to Brooklyn not only to win a championship, but he felt it was time for him to take a step back as a scorer and become more of a facilitator.
If Irving wasn’t on this roster, then Harden would have to step up as a scorer, which would take away from his role of putting the pieces of the puzzle together as a primary playmaker.
Irving attracts so much gravity with just his presence alone out there on the court. If you try and take away his drive to the rim, he can either just pull up off the dribble anywhere in the mid-range or behind the arc, or he can simply break your ankles with his wide array of crossovers and use his historically great layup package to get two at the rim.
Of the ball, he’s dangerous as well, as he can easily shoot off the catch. Harden has a knack for passing the ball out of double-teams on the drive to the rim, as Irving serves as a beneficiary off of that.
When you look at the rest of the Nets roster, there’s a huge dropoff in scoring after Irving. Pretty much everyone else on the roster needs a playmaker like Harden to get them involved into the flow of things, and with Harden not needing to score nearly as much as he did in Houston, Harden can focus on just that.
If you were to take Irving off of this team, then there’ll be a lack of a third reliable scorer, which can be problematic when going up against better teams in the playoffs.
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