Steve Nash has spent the last two seasons appearing like an intern learning on the job after Sean Marks made an oath of allegiance to a man and coach named Ken Atkinson and vowed that they would be together “do or die.”
As per reports, Marks and the team’s owner, Joe Tsai, talked tough about Kyrie Irving and vaccines, then succumbed when the Atlantic Division rankings became unbearable to look at.
Even if “daring to be different” means “I tried to bully my way out of town but learned that the only choice for me (maybe) would be taking a $6 million one-year deal with the Lakers,” that’s hard to believe—even for Irving, a serial faker. Having a salary of $31 million more than that, he’ll be the one leading the Nets into tomorrow.
Bringing in Irving and Durant in July 2019 was always the Nets’ best bet if they stayed true to their commitment to go big-game hunting in the summer. Despite some social media stumbles and a few media scuffles, he has turned up on time, played hard, and performed as well as anyone in the NBA over the past three years with the Nets.
The Celtics may have contained him in the playoffs this year (if you can call a 26.3-point average “contained”), but it should be remembered that a year earlier, with Irving out and Harden hobbled, he did his damnedest to keep the Nets competitive in the playoffs, averaging 34.3 points and shooting 51.4%.
Two of his three postseason series as a Net ended in defeat. There is some truth in what Charles Barkley said, and he had to hear it. Before KD receives that high regard from all the veteran players, according to Barkley.
In order to achieve their promise, the Nets will have to seize the narrative and the soul of this club through Durant. No one but Irving will have to rein him in; it’ll be up to him, and not anybody else, to do it.