“He’ll just say, ‘Heck with you, I’m out’” – Skip Bayless believes Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets could be done, says they crawled back to Kyrie when they were teetering

The rumors surrounding Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets have intensified as free agency approaches. And Skip Bayless believes the franchise could be done with their All-Star guard.

The Nets’ 2021-22 campaign ended in disappointment after enduring an unstable season. They reached the playoffs after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in the play-in tournament but could not muster a win against the Boston Celtics in the first round.

Kyrie, who was unavailable for the better part of the season due to his refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine, was available to help during the playoffs. But he was shut down, just like Kevin Durant was, by Boston’s incredible defensive display.

Now, the topic of if the Nets will sign Kyrie to a long-term deal is enthralling the NBA community, and pundits are giving their takes. On “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed,” Bayless said thinks there is a chance both parties will go their separate ways this offseason.

“All I know for sure is that, according to multiple reports, they’re not happy with Kyrie Irving,” Bayless said. “The strongest report said that they are outright unwilling to give Kyrie a long-term extension. Well, surely that has gotten back to Kyrie. Surely, he is well aware of that. He’s a very proud young man.

“So, it’s possible that in the next month he’ll just say, ‘Heck with you I’m out,’ because he can opt outright, become an unrestricted free agent within the next month. Would he do that? Well, knowing Kyrie it’s possible he would do that just because he’s offended by the way he was treated last year.

“Because I remind you, there was a flashpoint when they finally sent Kyrie home, and his best buddy, Kevin Durant, signed off on it, he blessed it. He said, ‘Yep, let’s go forward without it.’ Not until later in the season. Did they crawl back to Kyrie as they were teetering and starting to lose?”

“So, I believe, bottom line, Kyrie’s decision to not get vaccinated wrecked that team last year in many ways, but it wrecked James Harden. He’s out. KD, he seemed half-hearted about the rest of the season. They never got their legs back underneath them. They had other issues going on, but Kyrie was the issue.

“And it sounded like it went all the way to the top to the owner, that they are close to being done with Kyrie, and I don’t think they’d be really unhappy if he opted out and hit the free agency.”

Irving has a player option this summer, and it will be up to him if he plays at least one more season with the Nets. He has expressed his desire to stay long term with Durant and the Nets, but there is concern that the organization might not be willing to offer him a long-term deal.

The Brooklyn Nets are reportedly ‘unwilling’ to give Kyrie Irving a long-term extension due to his personal decision to not get vaccinated and unpredictable injury history, per @Krisplashed

Kyrie Irving played only 29 games for the Brooklyn Nets in the 2021-22 season

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving (11) of the Brooklyn Nets
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving (11) of the Brooklyn Nets

The Nets were championship favorites before the start of the season. But things turned sideways with the announcement that Kyrie Irving would be ineligible to play in New York City due to the city’s COVID-19 mandate.

Irving stood his ground about not getting the vaccine, and the franchise decided to carry on without him. There was an option to play road games, but at the time, it was full time or nothing.

The front office retreated on its decision in December, and Irving started playing part time in January. However, that month, KD injured his knee, and later James Harden demanded a trade.

Even with his presence, the Nets endured a nasty 11-game losing streak and a 3-17 swoon. Irving played in only 29 games, with Brooklyn going 14-15.

The former NBA champ averaged 27.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 5.8 assists while shooting 46.9%.

Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein

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