Kyrie Irving is backed into a corner. The presumably unvaccinated guard will not just be precluded from playing in all regular season home games missed, which would amount to all 41, including two games played at Madison Square Garden, but he would forgo his game check entirely.

Irving is due $33.3 million this year and would relinquish part of that for refusing to comply with New York City mandates and the newly imposed NBA penalty that will dock players pay.

The NBA is playing hardball with regards to vaccine requirements and while the NBAPA has rebuffed the idea of a vaccine mandate, this course of action by the league is forcing its players' hands.

Irving hasn't ruled out the idea of joining his teammates for activities in Brooklyn at some point, but the latest step by the NBA has drawn a line in the sand.

Things will get very interesting from here on out, because we'll see if Irving stays steadfast in his anti-vaccine beliefs or whether the hefty price he'll have to pay will be enough to convince him to comply with local vaccine mandates in New York.

 The Brooklyn Nets are a shrewd organization from top to bottom. So, when former late host made an appearance at Nets' Media Day with a noteworthy humorous exchange with Kevin Durant, his presence was as much a public relations stunt as it was anything.

While Kyrie Irving's vaccination status was a major talking point among fans and pundits, having Letterman pose as a reporter and eat into time dedicated to Durant's presser helped take some of the heat off the Nets' star left to answer for his absent teammates.

With the media somewhat disarmed by Letterman's dry humor, that video went viral and served as a distraction to the difficult reality that Irving appears willing to miss home games and practices in light of New York City's vaccine mandate.

You have to give a tip of the cap to Nets' PR because on a day that was nothing short of a disappointment for many Brooklyn fans, SportsCenter and many digital platforms featured the light hearted moment to create a positive story around the team.

It's the oldest public relations trick in the book, create a misdirection and inviting a celebrity to media day accomplished exactly that. Letterman was one of the stars of the show, but didn't entirely overshadow Irving's frustration situation. At least it provided cheerful moments for what will be a complicated conundrum for the team to navigate.


Kyrie Irving made an appearance at Nets' Media Day, but it was via Zoom and not in person since he still remains unvaccinated.

Brooklyn's floor general insisted that he wanted to make things a private matter, and asked the media and fans to respect his privacy.

Irving declined to comment on his vaccination status or availability for home games and practices in Brooklyn this upcoming season.

The Nets' point guard indicated that he didn't want to serve as a distraction to the team, but the fact that his vaccination status has been the main storyline of the day and not the team chasing a title is evidence enough that it is indeed a distraction.

Reading between the lines, it's clear that Irving is still unvaccinated, but he's also the vice president of the NBA's Player Association with significant klout and influence over matters related to the league.

The NBAPA has declined a proposed league mandate on vaccines while New York City and San Francisco vaccine mandates supersede anything the league has in place.

From the sound of it, it appears Irving is willing to sit out home games and remain unvaccinated, but he's clearly fighting behind the scenes to revise eligibility for unvaccinated players.

Even NBA commissioner Adam Silver can't influence lawmakers in both cities to reverse course or amend the mandate, so it appears both sides are dug in and at this point Irving's availability will be a major distraction throughout the season, at least until a resolution is put in place.

 Sean Marks has had conversations with James Harden and Kyrie Irving about inking long-term extensions to remain in Brooklyn, and the former appears committed to bringing a title to the organization and willing to commit long-term.

Harden's comments put Nets' fans minds at ease regarding his future with the club, and while a long-term extension has yet to be officially reached, the team's top playmakers don't appear to be going anywhere else anytime soon.

Harden dubbed the Nets' big three as "Scary hours" last season and with a fortified bench stockpiled with grizzled veterans, he's now updated that label to, "Scarier Hours."

The cliffhanger for the organization is the free agent statuses of Irving and Harden, so it's fresh on Nets'fans minds.

Irving's availability for home games and practices in Brooklyn is a major storyline as New York City's vaccine requirements preclude him from participating in events at Barclays Center and HSS Training Center.

On a day where Irving's resistance to the vaccine remains a hot button issue, Harden's verbal commitment creates positive vibes around Nets Media Day.

 As per basketball insider, Adam Zagoris, Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving is expected to be in attendance at Nets media day at HSS Center in Brooklyn on Monday.

The Nets will meet with reporters in Brooklyn before departing for San Diego to open training camp later this upcoming week. Putting the pieces of the puzzle together, Irving would require to be vaccinated to attend any type of public event at HS* Center, so his anticipated attendance contradicts the recent reports that the point guard remains unvaccinated. 

 If Irving's reported appearance on Monday comes to fruition it would put an end to speculation that an integral member of Brooklyn's big three would sit out home games and practices held in the state of New York. 

 Fans will get a definitive answer on Irving's vaccination status on Monday if he is indeed present for the team's media day.

Kyrie Irving is a far out individual. Whether it's his outlandish views about the shape of the Earth, government conspiracy theories, or his on-court ritual of burning sage that he performed at the start of last season, there's never a shortage of opinions on the Nets talented, yet mercurial floor general.
So, when Irving tweets, it sets NBA Twitter on fire. The majority of his posts are cryptic in nature and his most recent tweet follows that same trend. NBA fans are left searching for the true meaning of the tweet. Is Irving at peace with his decision to reportedly stay unvaccinated? 

 Is he at peace with the reports from FoxSports suggesting he would retire from the league if traded by the Nets? 

 Or is he simply zenning out and connecting with his own spirituality to spread peace to the world? 

 It's anyone's guess exactly what is going on in Irving's mind. Meanwhile, Irving reportedly remains one of two Nets still unvaccinated on the squad and the team will hold its media day at Barclays Center starting Monday, September 27 before departing for training camp in San Diego.

 You better believe Irving's status for the upcoming season will be the source of unrelenting questions from fans and the media still unsure of what his intentions are relating to New York's vaccine mandate.
Sean Marks revealed that two Nets players were still unvaccinated as of this week, but what fans learned on Friday, per FoxSports, is that Kyrie Irving is one of those players.

Training camp opens in San Diego next week, so this development won't impact Irving's ability to attend and participate in camp, but upon the team's return to Brooklyn, the point guard would be precluded from playing in any home games or partaking in practice in New York. 

 The city mandate prohibits unvaccinated players who call the cities of San Francisco and New York City home from playing with fellow vaccinated teammates in that host city. The NBA player's association is fighting the push to institute a leaguewide mandate, so that is off the table for the time being. 

 The only silver lining is that Marks expressed confidence that the two unvaccinated Nets would be vaccinated in the week ahead, but time is ticking on the start of training camp and Irving along with James Harden's contract extensions are organization cliffhangers

The rumor mill is running wild and media reports about Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons are filling the void left in basketball fans minds until live game action gets underway in a matter of weeks.

Simmons reportedly informed the Sixers that he won't report to training camp and has already played his last game with the organization, meanwhile, Irving's representatives have reportedly told teams that the Nets point guard will retire if sent packing from Brooklyn. The notion that Kevin Durant's presence is the only thing keeping this proposed move from happening is absolutely ludicrous.

It's 2021, so the media can run wild with any scenarios that are feasible in any distant planet. Don't let the facts ruin a good story as a Simmons for Irving swap is about as likely as James Harden winning a slam dunk competition.

Those odds, in case you were wondering, are slim and none. Perhaps the reporting is accurate, and only said reporter knows for a fact, but NBA fans both hardcore and casual can detect a ridiculous rumor when they hear one and this recent report defies all logic and is as farfetched as they come.


Nets general manager Sean Marks put many basketball fans minds at ease that while a couple players are still unvaccinated on the roster, he anticipates they will be in the near future and be practicing with the team in time for the start of the season.

Due to a multitude of reasons, Marks did not divulge what players he was referring to or a specific timeline, but understood that the vaccine matter is a personal choice.

New York City along with San Francisco have already mandated vaccines for employees are anyone looking to enter an arena or entertainment venue and that applies to all Nets and Knicks players.

On the federal level, President Joe Biden has instituted a mandatory vaccine requirement for employees at that companies employ over 100 people.

The NBA has yet to make a league wide mandate, but based on Marks' comments, that may also be on the table.

The health and eligibility of the Nets players to start the season was a major taking point this off-season and source of angst, but it appears that hurdle has been cleared.


Nets general manager Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash met with the media on Tuesday. Among the many takeaways from the press conference, anticipated contract extensions for Kyrie Irving and James Harden was chief among them. On the extension front, things are moving in the right direction, but not quite there yet.

Brooklyn's front office leader indicated that with players including Irving and Harden tending to off-season activities related to rehab, community events, time with family, face to face negotiations are expected to intensify.

Marks hinted that he's had very positive discussions with both players including their representatives and family members about solidifying a future in Brooklyn for the backcourt mates.

As far as the pending contract extensions being viewed as a distraction, Marks doesn't subscribe to that and attributes a lack of face to face meeting time as the main culprit for why agreements aren't yet in place.

Exactly one week from today, the Nets open training camp in San Diego, and while Marks' self-imposed deadline could be in jeopardy, the long-term prospects of Harden and Irving remaining with the Nets appears to be positive.


The Brooklyn Nets will hold a 1pm preseason press conference on Tuesday, the latest formal media availability before training camp opens September 28.

Nets fans are anxiously awaiting an announced extension for Kyrie Irving and James Harden.

Speculation is running rampant that this official presser could bring the news many have been waiting for, that Brooklyn's backcourt will remain in the borough for the next 3-4 years, at minimum.

With trade rumors regarding Irving already surfacing, locking up the two top playmakers would put an end to the fickle notion that the organization is looking to move the talented, but mercurial floor general.

Sean Marks and Steve Nash heading to the podium is always an eventful spectacle, but announced extensions for two thirds of the Big Three would make every Nets fan a happy camper heading into training camp.


Iman Shumpert's most dazzling skills might not be on the hardwood with a basketball in hand, but instead on the dance floor with a professional partner to choreograph a number alongside him.

The exceptionally popular Dancing with the Stars is celebrating its 30th season this fall on ABC and Shumpert is among the surprise performances this year.

Over the years, there have been plenty of former athletes, entertainers, and recognizable celebrities who have supremely disappointed and showed no rhythm, pizzazz or showmanship despite being assigned a professional dance partner.

Shumpert's performance speaks for itself, but it clearly caught Kevin Durant's eye. The 2016 NBA champion played in 13 games in 2019 with the Nets while Durant was out with an Achilles injury and played in two games last season in Brooklyn before he was waived by the team.

Durant will be in the hunt for an MVP and Larry O'Brien Trophy, but judging from Shumpert's dancing exhibition, he appears to be in it to win it as well this season.

 Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant were a package deal when signed via free agency in 2019 (Durant via sign-and-trade) as the dynamic duo marked a seminal moment in franchise history.

Irving, a lifelong Nets fan dating back to his childhood days in West Orange, New Jersey and while playing for Montclair Kimberly Academy and St Patrick School, always felt a connection to the New York Metropolitan area and team.

So, when Irving and Durant decided to team up during the 2019 off-season, the destination became clear.

 And while Durant holds the keys to Brooklyn's franchise, it was Irving who convinced the 7-footer to build a new legacy for the Nets in Brooklyn and help bring fans in that borough, New Jersey and Long Island the organization's first NBA championship.

General manager Sean Marks built an enviable culture with enthusiastic, young talent under the tutaledge of a blue collar coach that stressed fundamental play and high effort at all times.

Now, that coach is no longer with the team and many of the young pieces were traded for the third head of this Brooklyn monster in James Harden.

However, to even suggest that Marks would move Irving is total hogwash and both he and true Nets fans know that both players were a package deal and the point guard's connection to the Nets is the reason why Brooklyn has built a modern day superteam.

Kyrie Irving didn't take kindly to recent reports that he will retire if the Nets trade him. According to Nick Wright of FS1, Irving's representation indicated that Brooklyn's floor general will hang up his shoes for good if he's sent packing from the Nets. After that bombshell was dropped, Irving retorted with a puppet meme, challenging the credibility of the said report and reporter himself. After Wright doubled down on his reporting, Irving made yet another puppet reference about the rumor. 

 While it's extremely unlikely that the Nets move Irving after a record-setting season, it's clear that he's fed up with being the media's punching bag and is ready to punch back at criticism he deems unfair and reports he characterizes as bogus.

 James Harden was recently practicing and coaching up youth basketball players about the importance of with ethic, but that wasn't the biggest takeaway from that video.

Harden reveals to the young ballers, who he believes are not going at gamespeed, that he is out there pushing himself even though he's still technically in rehab.

Don't discount the importance of this disclosure as Harden reaggravated that same hamstring injury three times last season. 

Brooklyn's training staff was ultra cautious with regards to his return to the court, but evidently Harden's injury never fully healed and resurfaced in Game 1 of the Eastern semifinal round against Milwaukee. The Nets playmaker tried to gut it out in Games 5-7, but was not nearly healthy enough to help Kevin Durant push the team into the conference finals.

With a track record of reaggravating said injury, the Nets medical staff clearly has Harden on a gradual ramp up to get ready in time for training camp.

As the Nets are notoriously tight lipped with regards to injury news, Harden's status for training camp, which opens September 28 in San Diego, is unclear. 

General manager Sean Marks indicated that he was optimistic a contract extension would be reached for both Harden and Kyrie Irving before training camp, but as of this week, nothing has been officially announced.

Kyrie Irving's sense of humor is often an underrated part of his mercurial personality. The Nets floor general set the record straight on Wednesday as to what his plan would be in the farfetched scenario he was traded away from Brooklyn.

 Irving was the major ringleader for why Kevin Durant joined him in Brooklyn. A West Orange, New Jersey native, Irving grew up idolizing Jason Kidd as he electrified the Meadowlands in a run that included consecutive trips to the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003.

The then-New Jersey Nets were beat in the championship round by the Lakers and Spurs, respectively. Irving was merely 11-years old during that improbable era in Nets history and was as heartbroken as any Nets fan.

Now in the borough of Brooklyn and representing the greater New York/New Jersey area, the Nets are still chasing that elusive first NBA championship. 

Upon teaming up with Durant in New York's trendiest borough, Irving insisted that when the Nets get to the finals on his watch, they will be sure to deliver a title. 

Recent reports that the Nets could trade Irving and he would retire in that scenario don't align with any of the rationale that saw Irving choose Brooklyn as his top destination in free agency.

 In the 2019 off-season, Irving recruited a superteam cast to help him achieve a childhood dream now as a professional and deliver the Larry O'Brien to the Nets organization for the first time ever.

Kyrie Irving's Twitter fingers are in full force and his latest tweet will be making waves outside of the basketball world.

 Irving has opened up recently about the importance of mental health, but the context of the message relates to "masks" and "no fear."

The cryptic tweet leaves people guessing the true meaning behind the message and perhaps that's the the exact effect the basketball star is hoping to have.

Still in the midst of the pandemic, it's hard to imagine that Irving would take such a strong stance against a deterrent of spreading the virus.

If Irving is using the word "mask" in a metaphorical sense to illustrate people aren't showing their true selves, that's one thing.

If he's urging people to remove masks all together, that a whole other ball of wax.

Whatever the case may be, Irving's latest tweet will stir up controversy in a number of ways .

The NBAPA announced this week that it will not agree with the proposed league mandate to require players to get vaccinated. Approximately 75 NBA players are currently unvaccinated, and in New York and San Francisco, laws prohibit unvaccinated players or personnel from entering arenas or practice facilities, unless they have a religious or medical exemption.

Nets fans are hoping this tweet was merely a poor word choice or perhaps a tasteless message to stir up drama.

If Brooklyn's leader is unvaccinated and without an exemption he would be precluded from playing in homes games and practicing at the team's facility this upcoming season.


Forget the Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Los Angeles Clippers, the team that stands between the Brooklyn Nets and a Larry O'Brien Trophy is none other than the Phoenix Suns.

The resigning Western Conference champs are an afterthought in the championship conversation, but with the nucleus of the team returning and valuable championship level experience on their side, Chris Paul and the Suns are more than a formidable foe.

Devin Booker is on the upswing and is a legitimate MVP candidate in the making.

Cam Johnson, Mikal Bridges, DeAndre Ayton Jae Crowder, Cameron Payne and Landry Shamet, who was sent to the Valley of the Sun in exchange for Jevon Carter, are all stellar scoring options for Phoenix.

The Nets have the star power with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Blake Griffin, but Phoenix has a fearless and seasoned leader in Paul to go along with a fantastic supporting cast.

The Nets are the odds on favorites to take the title, but not enough respect is being given to a Phoenix squad that is not only a viable option to come out of the West, but a team capable of winning the whole shebang.

Many NBA fans judge James Harden by his flashy fashion sense, eccentric personality, and on-court histrionics, but very few appreciate the work that man put in to be one of the league's top players. 

Harden's leadership behind the scenes has been a talking point by Nets teammates as he's not only an incredible basketball talent, but a basketball savant. Brooklyn's floor general has incredible court vision, unlimited moves off the dribble in his bag, along with an absurd stepback three that only a handful of players in the NBA can come close to emulating. 

So when Harden had a chance to practice with young up and coming ballers, he didn't mince words when calling out their effort at practice.

Understandably, Harden was heavily criticized for showing up late to Houston Rockets training camp this past season and being physically out of shape and mentally in another place. Even upon his not so subtle trade demand with Brooklyn atop the list, it took Harden several weeks to get into game condition.

Last year's scenario was an outlier in Harden's career as he's been a gamer and hardly missed significant time over the course of his time in the NBA.

Unfortunately, Harden battled a nagging hamstring injury that forced him into two prolonged stints on the injured list. Upon returning in time for the start of the playoffs, he reaggravated the injury, which was only classified as a moderate Grade 2 strain after the Nets were eliminated by Bucks. 

The Nets leader in triple doubles during the regular season with 12 in just 36 regular season games, good enough to tie for the franchise-lead set by Jason Kidd, Harden tried to gut it out in the playoffs, but wasn't nearly himself.

Former Nets and Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni, who coached Harden in both destinations, ravved about the "Beared One's" leadership. It's clear that Harden demands accountability from his teammates and given his stern words of caution to the younger generation of ballers, coaching could be in his future down the road. 

Many are anticipating the Brooklyn Nets will have a season of historic proportions, but NBA fans young and old wonder how this Eastern juggernaut would stack up to titans of year's past. 

 Using the WhatIfSports Simulator Engine, Nets Insider was able to pit the 2020-2021 Nets (sorry the 2021-2022 squad isn't available just yet), against the record-setting 72-10, 1995-1996 Bulls squad in a seven-game series. 

 The outcome wasn't exactly what many would expect as the dynasty Bulls fell in five games to the talented, but trophy-less Nets.

WhatIfSports is a sports fan's dream as you can concoct historic matchups along with modern day contests for simulated outcomes. The series simulation went as follows.






Remarkably, even without home court advantage, the Nets knockoff the Bulls in five games. 

The battle of superstars goes Brooklyn's way. While Chicago has six titles in the trophy case and two separate three-peats, Brooklyn is aiming to fill its case for the first time in franchise history.

 The Jets and Giants opened their respective seasons on Sunday, with both clubs continuing their losing ways of the better part of the past decade.

Even the Bills, many NFL pundits pick to make the Super Bowl, lost 23-16 in lackluster fashion.

The Western New York club holds the only glimmer of hope to make this NFL season somewhat enjoyable for fans.

As far NBA fans in the New York market, the Nets are a little over two weeks away from opening training camp in San Diego, and by that time, Giants and Jets fans might be already yearning for basketball to get underway.

It's not often that a New York Metropolitan area team enters a season as the favorites to win the championship, but that's the exact expectations and pressure facing the Brooklyn Nets this upcoming season.

Outside of the Giants pair of titles in 2007 and 2011 and the Yankees World series championship in 2009, New York has been starved for a champion.

The Nets represent the city's best chance for a parade as the Jets and Giants appear to be closer to top of the draft type teams than top division squads.

Yes, wet know we're ignoring the Western New York football team, but Buffalo is a long way from New York city.

Nets training camp opens September 28 in San Diego while their opening game against Milwaukee will take place October 19.

 The Brooklyn Nets will hands down be the gamer's top choice of clubs to play with in this year's installment of the 2K franchise. 

Unsurprisingly, the Nets have three players ranked over 90 overall with Kevin Durant (96) James Harden (94), and Kyrie Irving (91) showcasing the Big three talents.

Brooklyn has the top overall team rating at 84, while fashioning a star-studded roster.

The Nets are the only team in this year's title to feature three 90-plus rated dynamos on the same team.

Brooklyn's team rebounding (57) and team defense (65) ranked among the bottom tier, but represent the two shortfalls of an otherwise nearly flawless ensemble of offensive standouts.

Even the gamenight experience is as authentic as ever with the game incorporating Olivier Sedra, the Nets public address announcers into the pregame cinematics and gameplay ambience.

Users have been critical of 2K's clunky gameplay with awkward player physics and while improvements to game fluidity have been made, there's still a way to go for the leading basketball videogame franchise.

The Nets' Big three will have a feathery touch from the outside thanks to a revamped shot meter with more realistic responsiveness. This will mean even more gamers splashing through shots from long range.

It will be scary hours this season at Barclays Center this season, and NBA2K fans looking to take down the Nets will likely be in for a whole lot of headaches this season.

 Ja Morant is one of the most electrifying young players in the NBA, but the 22 year old conceded that Kyrie Irving has him beat in a particular facet of the game.

Morant is a similar size and stature to Irving, but with more explosiveness around the rim. All of this doesn't mean that the Memphis guard is more a effective inside scorer than his Eastern Conference counterpart.

 With sneaky athleticism and crafty moves in the paint, Irving can almost effortlessly contort his body around defenders and finish at the basket from near impossible angles.

The most astonishing aspect to this is that Irving does most of his magic underneath the rim and without trying to outleap his opponent.

The man dubbed "Uncle Drew," is living proof that nifty moves inside the paint and being one of the league's best finishers doesn't have to be a thunderous dunker or big man to hold that distinction.


Critics come out the woodwork to attack Kyrie Irving for his life choices, outlook on the world and the way he carries himself day to day.

Irving marches to the beat of his own drum and reinforced that message to his followers with a short but sweet post via Twitter.

 The Nets floor general has been the subject of vitriol from fans for his unceremonious exit from Boston and his mysterious absence from the Nets midway through this past season.

The mercurial superstar is perhaps a misunderstood figure, but he's not going to spend anymore time worrying about conforming to society's standards.

Brooklyn is the odds on favorite to take the championship and if Irving can push aside the detractors in the media and within NBA fan circles, it will only serve him even better this upcoming season.

DeAndre Jordan and the Brooklyn Nets had an amicable break-up this month. Jordan, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden still maintain a brotherhood off the court despite no longer being able to call each other teammates.

 Merely days after joining Los Angeles, a situation in which Jordan was blocked from significant minutes by the presence of Marc Gasol and Dwight Howard, the former has been shipped to Memphis. Howard is the frontrunner to grab the starting spot with the Lakers, a team he's now in his third stint with, but with Gasol gone, Jordan has a chance to complete for that starting spot, but at the very least it has opened up some possible minutes for him to play an integral role in a championship push. 

 The Nets castoff was a poor fit in Steve Nash's switch heavy schemes, and brings athleticism to a Lakers squad evidently looked to move on from the powerful, but lumbering Gasol. 

 The Nets are the bettor's favorites to win the title and the Lakers are right behind them in that conversation. 

If the East's Giant meets the Western juggernaut in June, adding an ex-Net to the opposing side will only add more intrigue to a potentially compelling NBA Finals matchup.

 Free agent forward Paul Millsap has finalized a deal to join the Brooklyn Nets, although as per team policy, details of the deal were not disclosed. 

A 15-year veteran with stops in Utah, Atlanta and Denver, Millsap has been on the Nets' radar for some time. For his career, the seasoned big man has averaged 13.7 points and 7.2 rebounds on 49 percent shooting from the floor and 34.3 percent from 3-point range. 

Millsap ranks second among all active NBA players in games played trailing only LeBron James' 1,072. Millsap is the only player to have over 1,000 blocks and 1,000 steals during that span. Brooklyn is hoping to bolster a front court that was razor thin a season ago by adding the grizzled vet. 

It's unclear how minutes will shake out for Millsap given the signing of LaMaracus Aldridge, James Johnson's presence on the roster, Sekou Doumbouya, DeAndre Bembry and Nicolas Claxton also battling for minutes. 

Depth is not a bad problem to have and Steve Nash has an embarrassment of riches in the talent department with James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to go along with an experienced bench full off former All-Stars. 

At 36, Millsap is past the prime of his career, but he could relish the opportunity to be a spark plug of the bench and most importantly serve as a critical factor in the Nets' playoff push. 

Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash has inspired players of all ages to work hard and not just on the basketball court.

Leylah Annie Fernandez, who clinched a spot in the US Open final against Emma Raducanu of Britain, notes that her father wanted her to model her work ethic after Nash.

The finals matchup is the first time since 1968 that both players are unseeded and qualified for the US Open final.

Fernandez and Raducanu are both teenagers, so there's a strong possibility both will be regular contenders in major tournaments in the years to follow.

As for Nash, he's an avid tennis player and fan when he's not managing the big talent in Brooklyn and Fernandez gleefully joked they'll need to set up a 1-on-1 match to test his level of play.

The Nets head man has been a regular celebrity spectator at Arthur Ashe, sitting in Coco Gauff's box and Vasek Pospisil's earlier in the tournament.

Action is heating up on both the women's and men's side in Flushing, but it must be extra meaningful to have such a bright young star representing Canada in spectacular fashion at tennis' showcase event.

 Kevin Durant doesn't pull any punches when it comes to social media.

Careful what you tweet because he may come for you.

When a fan questioned all the character issues Antonio Brown has had over the course of his career, the Nets star was having none of it.

It's opening night in the NFL and clearly everyone is paying attention, including some of the NBA's biggest star. 

 Nets training camp opens September 28 and Brooklyn will travel to Milwaukee October 19 to open the 2021-2022 NBA season.
Kyrie Irving is a polarizing athlete. Whether it's his thoughts on the shape of the earth, unpopular opinions in the political or social realm, or most importantly to Nets fans, the disappearing act he pulled in Brooklyn this past season. 

 Give the man credit for admitting he may have been misguided in his decisions and world views, but he's a man that marches to the beat of his own drum.

 In a team sport and under the media microscope in the New York market, along with being in the national spotlight, this can lead to a lot of scrutiny and criticism. When healthy and on the court, Irving has proven to be an All-NBA caliber talent. Unfortunately for the Nets and their fans, the starting point guard was in and out of the lineup for a multitude of reasons. 

 Irving went social media silent for thee majority of the past coupleb of years, but in recent weeks has responded to news-mostly negative-about him. 

 If Brooklyn is hoping to achieve greatness and raise a banner in Brooklyn, they're going to need a physically, mentally and spiritually healthy Irving.
If his growth and maturation off the court can translate to  better focus and more consistent time on the court, that's a good thing for the Nets and bad news for the rest of the league.
Youth for experience. Athleticism for efficiency. Those are the tradeoffs Sean Marks made with he took last year's bench and put it in the burn pile and reshuffled the deck to bring in veteran help in the form of Mills, LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul Millsap and James Johnson

Yes, many think rookie Cam Thomas will burst onto the scene as evidenced by his NBA Summer league MVP showing as well as being regarded by scouts as this draft's top scorer.

Jevon Carter, acquired in a draft day trade with Phoenix and Nicholas Claxton are also part of the under 25 club coming off the bench, but their pathway to the court will likely be blocked by savvy veterans on a win-now team.

Rookie Day'Ron Sharpe and a non guaranteed contract for DeAndre Bembry round out the end of the team's reserve spots.

A Nets'bench that was predominantly under age 28 outside of backup point guard Mike James, is now littered with 34 and older regular rotation players.

The experience factor is enormous when it comes up NBA playoff basketball, so by trading in unseasoned players for polished pros, Marks is hoping it provides enough of a boost to put Brooklyn over the top.

The Nets depth is better suited for short term success as Steve Nash and Marks have their sights set on delivering a title to Barclays Center.


NBA 2K22 is set to launch Friday September 10, 2021. Nets Insider has an exclusive look at the newest release for Xbox Series X.
The battle of the Eastern heavyweights wasn't even a contest. As evidenced by the 86-50 romping by Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, James Harden and the rest of the Brooklyn Nets over the Milwaukee Bucks, it appears the shot meter issues are a thing of the past. Smoother shooting mechanics and more fluid gameplay make this year's version a less clunky version of those in year's past. The Bucks and Nets are set to do battle in Milwaukee on opening night October 19, so if this simulation is any indication of how that game will go, Brooklyn Nets fans will be restarts with the results.

 In the playoffs head coach Steve Nash forgot what got his team through a regular season that saw the Big Three play only a handful of games together.

With Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving grabbing headlines, endorsement deals and leading in jersey sales, it was the contributions from the Nets' bench and unheralded players that catapulted the team to 48 regular season wins, good enough for the number two seed in the East. 

Many of the projected bench players were thrust into starting roles including Bruce Brown and Jeff Green, while Landry Shamet, Mike James, Tyler Johnson and Nicholas Claxton played meaningful minutes.

Outside of Brown, not a single one of those players is returning to Brooklyn this upcoming season. The group that brought the energy and enthusiasm off the bench was used sparingly in the second round ousting by Milwaukee with Harden hurt and Irving out.

Nash showed a lack of trust in those players to rise to the occasion in the big moments and that was a major reason why Brooklyn came up a shoe size short.

The reality is, Nash and evidently general manager Sean Marks, wanted to shuffle the deck on the bench and moved in the direction of over the hill veterans with just enough in the tank to move the needle.

Enter Paul Millsap and LaMarcus Aldridge at 36 years old will be viable options for Brooklyn's head man if relegated to bench duties.

There are now zero excuses for why the coaching staff will not utilize its depth with decorated veterans waiting at the scorers table.

If Nash and company aim to get to the top of the NBA mountain, the second year coach will need to learn from his mistakes and entrust his bench to get the job done in big moments.

 Twenty days.

Twenty days.

That's exactly how long the Brooklyn Nets, specifically general manager Sean Marks has to lock up Kyrie Irving and James Harden on long term extensions.

The Nets are normally tight lipped, but disclosing contract terms as per team policy and are mum on injury updates and roster moves.

So while it's been two months since the Nets playoff elimination at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks, Kevin Durant's extension is in the books, but not his  second and third co stars.

There's been nothing but cohesion between Brooklyn's big three and Marks and Steve Nash have maintained a great rapport with the players, so any kind of front office rift can be immediately ruled out.

Marks had to do some maneuvering this off-season, principally finding a trading partner for the seldom used DeAndre Jordan to free up cap space and lesson the tax ramifications related to his bloated contract.

Harden and Irving have been busy recuperating from an injured filled season while giving back to the community with time and charity events meaningful to them.

It's not panic time just yet to iron out extensions, but some unease will quickly turn for the worse if Marks and company don't put the finishing touches on a great off-season.

 Just ask Jarrett Allen what it's like to be on a championship team and stand behind a former All Star waiting for a true opportunity to shine.

That's the exact same conundrum facing Nicolas Claxton, who is entering his third year with the Nets and behind not one, but three former All-Stars.

The young 7-footer has shown serious flashes of being a viable option to hold down the starting center position in the near future, but the presence of Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge and even Paul Millsap have created even more roadblocks in his quest for more minutes and game experience.

Brooklyn is in win-now mode, with championship or bust expectations. The reality is, Claxton will be a casualty of the Nets urgent situation to pursue a title.

It's not to say that Claxton won't garner runtime on the court, but the lion's share of the minutes will belong to the afforementioned trio of vets. In a league where prototypical centers try desperately to stay on the court with three and d schemes stretching the floor, it will be an uphill battle for Claxton.

 The third year pro is not a perimeter shooting threat, but an effective rim runner, inside scorer and rim protector. 

While Aldridge, Griffin, Millsap and even Bruce Brown stand between Claxton and the court, the Nets planned load management for Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving along with aging players across the roster could prove just enough to get Claxton his due time.

 Adding LaMarcus Aldridge and Paul Millsap to the Nets frontcourt means Steve Nash will have flexibility and blue chip options to hold down the five spot for Brooklyn.

Bruce Brown has also run as the designated big in the Nets' small ball lineup, but based on scheme fit and last year's body of work, Blake Griffin is the clear cut best option to start at center on a nightly basis.

Griffin, 32, shot a career high 38.3 percent from beyond the arc and played with exceptional energy and intensity to bring intangibles into the equation.

Aldridge and Millsap at 36 will have a chance to complete, but at advanced ages and with prototypical bigs seeing their minutes decrease across the league in favor of the three-and-d movent, Griffin becomes the obvious choice.

Against the Milwaukee Bucks of the world and Philadelphia 76ers where the Nets will need all big men on deck to battle against Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embid respectively.

Nash and company are much better suited to compete with the East's top teams as aforementioned, but don't need to reinvent the wheel based on the success the team had last year with Griffin in the starting lineup.

 Chris Paul played alongside James Harden for two years in the Houston Rockets' backcourt, so if anyone knows how lethal a scoring the current Nets guard can be it's the point God himself.

Paul left little doubt as to the identity of the league's premier basket filler, a player who can get buckets in a variety of ways from any spot on the court.

That man, Harden, has often been highly criticized for failing to win an NBA finals despite nine All-star selections and three league scoring titles to his name.

The "Bearded One" can fill it up, but the only thing that is preventing him from joining the Mount Rushmore of the league's top players is the requisite hardware in the Larry O'Brien missing from his packed trophy case.

Ironically, neither Paul or Harden have won a ring with the current Suns floor general falling short this past July and Harden missing out on his lone opportunity with the Thunder back in 2013.

When Harden and Paul were together in Houston, the chemistry and results were undeniable as the team came within an eyelash of knocking off the heavily favored Warriors even with Paul hobbled by injuries in 2017.

Both players went their separate ways with reports that they had a falling out of sorts with the Rockets that initialized Paul landing in Oklahoma City and Russell Westbrook joining Harden in Houston for just one season. 

Whatever the status of Paul's relationship with Harden may be, it's nice to see him paying homage to this generation's most gifted scorer.

Injuries were a major part of why the Brooklyn Nets watched the NBA finals from their comfy sofas at home instead of challenging the Phoenix Suns for league supremacy this past July.

The other part of the equation that led to the Nets going home early was the simple fact that Mike Budenholzer maneuvered and made the proper adjustments to pull his club out of a 2-0 series hole and then an eventual 3-2 deficit.

The Bucks head man, who was rewarded with a lucrative extension this off-season, put to bed the narrative that his playoff coaching was subpar.

If there was a coach whose decisions  left a lot to ponder, that man was sitting on Brooklyn's coaching sidelines, Steve Nash. 

The first year coach looked exactly the part, reticent to trust the bench that spurred the team to 48 regular season wins without the Big Three healthy for the majority of the season.

Shortening rotations in the playoffs in nothing new, but Nash's refusal to dig deep in his bag with the team struggling to find offense outside of Kevin Durant and with Joe Harris misfiring from the outside is still a head scratcher.

Jeff Green was invaluable in Game 5 to help lift the Nets to within one game of the conference finals, but Bruce Brown's minutes shrunk, DeAndre Jordan remained inactive and Nicholas Claxton and Landry Shamet were used sparingly.

Durant was brilliant, but Nash's offense consisted of giving No. 7 the ball and getting the heck out of the way.  Without Kyrie Irving and a hobbled James Harden, the same Nets team that earned the distinction as the most efficient offense in NBA history, didn't resemble anything close to that against Milwaukee.

Sometimes you have to give a tip of the cap to your competition for locking down defensively, but Nash and former assistant Mike D'Antoni didn't do the team any favors by allowing the offense to go full hero ball.

Nash's coaching staff has been rebuilt with Ime Udoka being hired by the Celtics, D'Antoni leaving the organization, and David Vanderpool along with Steve Clifford coming into the fold. 

The reality is, if coaching is a factor for why the Nets come up short this upcoming season, Nash won't be able to survive another playoff exit.

 Super teams never seem to settle well with fans. From Miami's big three, to Golden State and now Brooklyn, no one roots for Goliath.

The Brooklyn Nets are fully loaded with a plethora of star talent, but what rubs fans the wrong way about this club?

Is it how James Harden forced his way out of Houston and showed up out of shape and unwilling to play for the franchise?

As for Kevin Durant, was joining a 73-win Warrior team enough to annoy most? How about unceremoniously leaving the Bay Area in the middle of a potential dynasty? Or to add insult to injury, joining forces with Kyrie Irving and Harden in Brooklyn?

Irving all but mailed it in during his time in Boston and showed every inclination to join his childhood team in the Nets and bring a first ever championship to the franchise. 

With a littany of reasons to despise how this Nets team has come together and the polarizing nature of each star's personality, Brooklyn is an easy target for those still drinking the hater-ade.

Whatever the case may be, the collection of basketball prowess Sean Marks somehow collected out of thin air is nothing short of astonishing.

The Nets are the talk of the NBA world and the benchmark by which every other team is measured. 

For the first time in their NBA history, the Nets are the team with the bullseye on their back. 

The club that catches the vitriol and animosity of fans of the other 29 teams, is the odds on favorite for a title. The heavyweights are primed to knockout the competition, much to the chagrin of the viewing public.

The Brooklyn Nets offense was the most efficient in NBA history, but the defensive side left a lot to be desired. Only the Portland Trailblazers with a 115.3 defensive rating ranked worse than the Nets' 113.1. 

 Even though the headline indicates stats don't lie, they can often be skewed and misleading. Both the Nets, 117.3 and Trailblazers 117.1 led the league in offensive rating and played a breakneck speed. 

 The Nets' frenetic, lethal offense often resulted in high scoring contests for a team without a stellar on-ball defender outside of Bruce Brown on the perimeter and Kevin Durant contesting shots at the rim.
Adding Paul Millsap and LaMarcus Aldridge will only bolster the team's mid-range and inside scoring, but both 36 year olds aren't exactly quick on their feet and able to switch on 1 through 5. The reality is that from a numbers standpoint, the Nets defensive rating could actually get worse this season despite the additions of defensive specialist Jevon Carter and the return of Blake Griffin. 

 Come playoff time, Brooklyn's offensive capabilities are so overwhelming that it will mask many of the club's defensive deficiencies. 

 During the second round ousting by Milwaukee, the Nets struggled to get their historic offense off the ground with a hobbled James Harden and sans Kyrie Irving, while Durant shouldered the scoring load.

 At the end of the day, when the dust settles from the upcoming NBA season, the Nets may actually produce worse defensive numbers, but the team is better suited for a deep playoff run with Sean Marks' off-season additions.
Not even the 1985-1986 Boston Celtics, the 1970-1971 Milwaukee Bucks, the 1972-1973 Los Angeles Lakers, 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls or the 2016-2017 Golden State Warriors can hold a candle to the breadth of talent and accolades that the 2021-2022 Brooklyn Nets bring to the table.

The Nets have 44 combined All-Star appearances on the roster with marquee names like James Harden, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul Millsap headlining a fantasy basketball lineup.

All this is fine and well, but if the Nets fall short of a championship as they did a season ago, they'll be alongside the likes of the 2015-2016 Warriors, the 2003-2004 Lakers, the 1992-1993 Suns and the 2017-2018 Rockets as immensely talented squads that all go in the history books for all the wrong reasons.

Brooklyn needs a clean bill of health with Harden and Irving missing portions of last year's playoff run and Steve Nash needs to show a willingness to go into his newly rebuilt and more experienced bench when things get tight during the playoff run.

Aside from the Dream Team and All-star teams, the Nets could go toe to toe with any club from any era. Time Will tell whether this club delivers on a championship promise, but if one thing is for certain, Brooklyn's talent level is otherworldly and rightfully make it the team to beat heading into the 2021-2022 campaign.

Kyrie Irving is masterful on the court with incredible improvisation skills off the dribble and eye popping, dazzling finishes for a player who plays predominantly under the rim.

Steph Curry is this generation's most lethal shooter with tricky handles and the ability to utilize screens well enough to make Reggie Miller proud.

So when backup point guard Mike James took to Twitter and insisted that Irving's all around game is superior to that of Curry's save the long range shooting accuracy, social media went bonkers.

This comment from the Nets backup point guard raised eyebrows and in recent days Kevin Durant even liked an Instagram post that echoed James' comments.

While a small part of Irving must appreciate his teammates showing respect for his game and elevating him into top tier status, Brooklyn's floor general took to social media for the first time in a long time to set the record straight.

In the 2016 NBA finals, Irving most famously hit an eventual game winning 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the Cavaliers-Warriors Game 7 over an outstretched Curry. That shot gave Cleveland its first ever NBA title after overcoming a 3-1 series deficit to the heavily favored 73-win Warriors.

The debate will rage on between Irving and Curry, but fans should take time to appreciate reach player's individual greatness.

Curry's squads have won three out of four NBA finals matchups with Irving's teams, and with Golden State primed for a bounce back year and Brooklyn the favorites to hoist the Larry O'Brien, both players could be on a collision course come June.

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