Kyrie Irving Exercises $37 Million Player Option – Did Someone Get to Him?

Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

After reportedly not being able to find a sign-and-trade suitor, Kyrie Irving decided to opt into the final year of his Nets contract.

Maybe he and the Nets move on and they smooth everything over, or the Nets still trade him:

This has to blow up in the Nets face even if they are winning. Do people forget Kyrie forced his way off a team that went to three-straight finals and then did it again in Boston? Kyrie only cares about Kyrie.

Just look at the last week: The Nets let him find his own teams for a sign and trade, there was a list that he supposedly gave the Nets of preferred teams he’d like to go to, then Brian Windhorst said the Nets were preparing to lose both Kyrie and KD this summer, and on Sunday he was asked at the BET Awards if he wanted to be a Brooklyn Net and passed on answering:

Then there were reports he’d opt out and sign with the Lakers for $6 million MLE and then sign a max extension in 2023, which I think would’ve actually happened if someone from the league didn’t get to him first.

Let me explain:

The guy punted on $17 million last year out of principle. You don’t think he would do it again to get off the Nets if he wanted to? So someone had to have spoken to Kyrie when this news broke. Maybe it was CJ McCollum, the President of the NBAPA, or maybe it was another star player. Because the shit storm it would’ve created for the league if the VP of the players union declined $37 mil to go play for the Lakers for only $6 million would’ve been nuts. Between this and the Ben Simmons situation, the owners would’ve cleaned the players’ clocks in the next bargaining session. They could have looked to institute major guard rails for player contracts due to the player empowerment era or even introduced non-guaranteed contracts like in the NFL. Maybe the owners collude to manipulate the ceiling for star free agent contracts. Would any of this surprise anyone? You don’t become a billionaire giving away money. That’s my tinfoil hat theory.

P.S. What the fuck does this mean? Is it pronounced “All Even” or “Eleven?” It’s like when they tried to throw Derek Jeter’s number in the middle of RE2PECT during that Nike campaign: