Yahoo Sports senior NBA reporter Vincent Goodwill and senior NBA writer Dan Devine break down the ugliness on and off the court for Brooklyn over the first two weeks of the 2022-2023 campaign.
VINCENT GOODWILL: Yahoo Sports, Vince Goodwill, Dan Devine here with you. Dan, I thought we were going to talk about Josh Primo, the 12th pick in the draft a year ago, cut abruptly on a Friday night by the San Antonio Spurs without so much of an explanation until we started to get some details. But Kyrie Irving decided to go to the Twitter machine. And then Kyrie Irving went to the podium the next day, spouting his usual stuff.
So Dan Devine, I'm going to turn it over to you. Dan Devine, go.
DAN DEVINE: Well, I think the first thing is, when Kyrie Irving is getting all angry at reporters and saying, can we please get a basketball question, are you sure you want to talk about the Brooklyn Nets basketball right now, Kyrie Irving? Because it's been pretty ragged to start. 1 and 5, worst defense in the league, to say nothing of everything else that comes off the court.
But this is what-- been the problem with the Nets for the last couple of years. There's no coherent idea of what that team is intended to be. So then you just wind up with words and vibes. And when the words say nothing and the vibes are rancid, you wind up with a whole lot of nothing to talk about.
VINCENT GOODWILL: Well, I mean, look, we can go into the space-- this YouTube rabbit hole that Kyrie Irving goes down. And we can talk there, right? But I don't think that Kyrie Irving watched a three and a half hour documentary. I don't think the man has the attention span to sit around to do something like that, for one, right?
Here's what I will say, as a Black person, we long have realized that history books are not necessarily telling us the truth about things that have happened, right? Like, Black people's history doesn't start with slavery, you know what I mean? And slavery didn't end on the benevolence of white folks back in 1865, right? Completely understand that. And the whole critical race theory and everything else that's being battled about in school is so it can sort of be evidenced because people can't handle the truth-- whatever.
That's not what Kyrie Irving is talking about here, is it? That's a completely different argument. And for Kyrie Irving to want to be known as a leader, right-- he wants to be known as leader guy, but not have any of the responsibility, none of the accountability to back up anything that he's heard, anything that he's spouting off, to throw the rock and hide his hands, is the reason why I'm not sure why the Brooklyn Nets are even keeping him employed to begin with. Because this dude is dangerous.
DAN DEVINE: Well, but that's the math, right? The argument is, it's worth it so long as he balls. It's worth it for the 30 points a game, and the five assists, and the crossovers, and the highlights, and everything else.
But if that's only leading you to an average offense and a bad team, at what point does the calculation have to change for Brooklyn? If it's not now, and if it's not after this, then what's it going to take?
VINCENT GOODWILL: Well, here's the other thing-- you're not selling tickets, right? You're not winning games. You are driving your coach crazy. You're a headache.
You literally contribute nothing-- the 30 points looks good. But it doesn't look like it's actually translating to winning basketball. So at what point do the Nets say, this juice ain't worth the squeeze, and they say, you know what, Kyrie? You're not a part of our future anyway. Why don't we just cut bait with you right now?
DAN DEVINE: I think if it's not happening right now, I'm not sure when it's going to happen. The only answer that I have to that is when Kevin Durant finally decides that he doesn't necessarily need this around anymore. Because it seems like that is the extent of how long everything needs to run in Brooklyn, where the vibes just continue to get worse and worse. And you're reminded, oh, right, three months ago, KD wanted out of town. He wanted everybody fired. A month before that, they got swept out of the playoffs.
And maybe there's just no "their" there with this team. There's no real basis for something to be built on that's going to last the test of time. And when you've got to go in an Eastern Conference that's full of real talent, in a league where there's multiple teams that really can win a championship, and organizations that are built on something and stand on something, if you're built on nothing and you stand for nothing, there's not going to be a whole lot to talk about.