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The latest in increasingly bizarre NetsWorld: Stephen A. vs. Stephon

It started, as do many things nowadays, with Kyrie Irving.

UFC Fight Night: VanZant v Ostovich Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Every day, things seem to get more bizarre in NetsWorld.

The latest is a racially charged back-and-forth between Stephon Marbury, former Net and Brooklyn native, and Stephen A. Smith, ESPN commentator.

It started, as do many things nowadays, with Kyrie Irving.

In the aftermath of the Nets sweep and Kyrie’s comments about “managing the franchise” with Kevin Durant, Sean Marks and Joe Tsai, the Nets guard took some hits in the media with several media types blaming him for the Nets’ turmoil-filled season, citing his refusal to get vaccinated in particular.

Typical of the heat Kyrie faced was a segment a week ago on ESPN featuring Stephen A. and Kendrick Perkins, both of whom repeatedly criticized Irving during the season. ESPN rightly labeled it as a “rant”...

That in turn led to a Kyrie barrage of tweets on Thursday morning. He blasted mainstream media in a string of tweets without naming names but not holding back...

Here’s a sample...

Stephen A., believing he was a target of Kyrie’s tweets if not the target, wouldn’t let it rest. So he responded in kind...

Stephen A’s main point was that Irving, while a great player, is not reliable. Smith found it “weak” and “sad” that Irving was portraying himself as a victim. Leave it at that. (Stephen A. also blasted Ben Simmons, calling him “pathetic” but that’s another story for another day.)

Of course, it didn’t end there.

Enter Stephon Marbury, who played two years with the Nets before being traded for Jason Kidd in 2001. Marbury responded to Stephen A’s contention that Kyrie is “one of the most delusional athletes in American history.” Then it got racial.

Of course, Stephen A. couldn’t miss the opportunity to remind people of a great moment in NBA history.

“I’m not going to insult Stephon Marbury,” he said on First Take. “I will say Stephon Marbury has had a problem with me since 2009 because we thought he was a bit bizarre when he was eating Vaseline, literally on video — like it was a bunch of cheeseburgers. Like, gobbling Vaseline.”

There you have it. The Brooklyn Nets off-season. While fans and media await the (delayed) annual end-of-season press conference with Sean Marks and Steve Nash, this is it, sports fans. And if we missed something in this three-way conversation, it’s probably for the best.