Irving plans to stay with the Brooklyn Nets
MIAMI (AP) — Kyrie Irving will finally play a home game for Brooklyn again today. And he apparently intends to play home games with the Nets for years to come.
Irving, speaking to reporters Saturday after Brooklyn’s game day practice in Miami, said he felt comfortable being a member of the Nets and wanted to remain a teammate with Kevin Durant.
Irving has a $36.5 million player option for next season. He could step down and sign a five-year contract worth $246 million this summer – assuming the Nets offer such a deal.
“I love it here,” Irving said. “Once summer rolls around, I know we’ll have conversations, but there’s no way I can leave my man seven anywhere.”
It was a reference to Durant, who wears jersey number seven for Brooklyn.
Irving’s revelation wasn’t exactly a revelation for the Nets, coach Steve Nash said. Brooklyn worked on the assumption that Irving will be back next season and beyond.
“I think we’re all confident that we’ll find Kyrie,” Nash said. “But this is a front office discussion.”
Irving’s comments came a day before he is scheduled to play his first home game for the Nets this season, now that New York Mayor Eric Adams has exempted athletes and artists from the mandate of city coronavirus vaccination.
Irving said he was not vaccinated, which means he has only been able to play road games for the Nets since joining the team in January. Adams’ decision has been criticized by some because the city’s mandate still applies to many workers such as police officers and teachers.
“If the warrant isn’t needed for famous people, then it isn’t needed for the cops protecting our city in the midst of a criminal crisis,” the president of the Police Benevolent Association of the City said this week. New York City, Patrick Lynch. .
Irving said he understands why many believe Adams’ decision creates a double standard.
“I think there are a lot of people dealing with the real consequences of not being vaccinated,” Irving said. “I don’t think it’s talked about enough when it comes to our essential workers and people on the front lines.”
Offering Irving an extension would mean the Nets could have about $560 million pledged to three players.