Kyrie Irving is in a “good place” with the Nets and Thursday night, that place was in Union, N.J., home of Kean University.
Not long after Ian Begley used that phrase to describe Irving’s relationship with the Nets, Irving took the floor at the university’s Harwood Arena with four Nets teammates and perhaps more importantly, a Nets marketing team, in attendance.
As Adam Zagoria wrote for NJ.com:
Kyrie Irving returned to play basketball in New Jersey on Thursday night, the Brooklyn Nets posted videos and photographs of the night and a rapprochement between the two sides appears in the making.
The West Orange native and ex-St. Patrick School star hosted his “More Than A Run” All-Star Game before a crowd of more than 2,000 at Kean University that included his Nets teammates Royce O’Neale, Kessler Edwards and David Duke Jr.
Alondes Williams and RaiQuan Gray were also on hand.
The coverage on Instagram Thursday night was indeed positive. On Friday, the Nets official Twitter page added to it...
Put on a show for the squad to enjoy pic.twitter.com/StkVS8F2XS— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) August 5, 2022
Nets fans, who’ve had little to work with this summer, took the event — and the Nets attention to it — as a sign that a hoped-for “run it back” season has legs.
Fresh off the Brooklyn Nets IG ... this doesn't look like the behavior of a team looking to trade away a player ... been trying to tell y'all pic.twitter.com/gxhd3MgjQE— Geno Da Don (@ThaRealVincee) August 5, 2022
Indeed, the Nets covered the event as if nothing had occurred in the months since Irving opted into his $36.5 million final year after failing to come to an agreement with the organization on a near quarter-billion extension. That, of course, was followed three days later by Kevin Durant asking for a trade, the back-to-back blows leading to more than a month of speculation of whether either or both would even wear black-and-white again.
Earlier in the evening, Begley added to previous reporting by Brian Lewis and Shams Charania that the 30-year-old superstar was looking forward to playing for the Nets in 2022-23, writing “A source close to Irving said this week that the seven-time All-Star is in a good place with the Nets and comfortable entering the 2022-23 season.”
It also followed Joe Tsai’s one word Twitter response — “Truth” — to a video post in which in which Shlomo Sprung of Boardroom asked various legends of the New York playgrounds which NBA player could best survive on those hallowed blacktops? The vote was nearly unanimous: Kyrie Irving. The players were gathered in the city for the premiere of “NYC Point Gods,” the Kevin Durant-produced documentary, “NYC Point Gods.”
Indeed, the reporting on the two superstars’ fate has taken a turn in the last week or so from discussions of which team could make the best offer for the two superstars to speculation about whether the Nets could get the two players back in the fold. Earlier in the week, Steve Bulpett, writing for Heavy.com, reported that Durant and Tsai planned to meet soon.
In meantime, we will look for more tea leaves to read.
- Kyrie Irving returns to play in N.J., Nets post videos and photos: Is rapprochement inevitable? - Adam Zagoria - NJ.com