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Nets honeymoon phase with Kyrie, KD has reached a crossroads in Brooklyn

May 14, 2022 0 comments


Nba.com


 As Brooklyn Turns should have been the slogan for the 2021-22 Brooklyn Nets. A soap opera of a basketball team that had every type of drama, dysfunction and intrigue to make for constant entertainment for Nets' detractors.

 The on-court product was underwhelming due to Kyrie Irving's refusal to comply with local vaccine mandates, Kevin Durant being sideline with an injured knee, James Harden's discontentment and subsequent trade, along with a playoff sweep at the hands of the reviled Boston Celtics.

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Not to mention the fact that Ben Simmons' herniated disc in his back prevented him from playing a single game with the club and forced him to undergo surgery this off-season. 

All told, the Nets were a mess this past season.

Questions about Steve Nash's rotations, offensive philosophy and Sean Marks' roster construction around his two superstars are mounting.

The honeymoon period with Durant and Irving as the faces of the franchise is reaching a crossroads. The Nets have failed to get out of the second round of the playoffs, produced a 7-9 playoff record and one series win in two seasons.

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This is unacceptable for a franchise with championship aspirations. Durant is all about basketball, but Irving's absences call into question his commitment to the team and whether the extension he's expected to sign this summer will include incentives to ensure he remains available for games. Even with those type of stipulations, Irving has shown he's willing to pass up millions of dollars in game checks to do what's in his own best interest.

Marks built an enviable culture in Brooklyn before Irving and Durant arrived and the team needs to get back to that. The Nets executive intimated that any major moves will be discussed with his stars, but at the end of the day, the Nets played 52 seasons before the duo arrived and play will go on long after they retire.

The reality is the Nets need retool the team's complementary pieces and keep everyone on the court this upcoming season. Brooklyn made headlines for all the wrong reasons this past year, now is the time to start fulfilling championship promises. No more honeymoon, it's make or break time in a marriage between the Nets and Irving and Durant that's been littered with issues, some out of their control, but many self-inflicted.

 Personal milestones and highlight reel plays are ahead for the dynamic duo, but at the end of the day, the success of this era of Nets'basketball will only be measured by playoff success, more specifically championships.


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