“I think he’s embarrassed and confused by how the last couple of years went and is now in f**k you mode” – Bill Simmons reflects on Joe Tsai’s mentality for Brooklyn Nets superteam’s failure

Three years after sweeping the 2019 offseason, Brooklyn Nets team owner Joe Tsai will have to break up the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving tandem. Brooklyn is now looking for a historic haul after KD asked to be traded.

Irving could also be on his way out the door as the billionaire is looking to grab control of his team’s operations.

Two of NBA history’s most-gifted players decided to team up in the summer of 2019 in Brooklyn. Hope and excitement soon gave way to frustrations and disappointments, particularly when it came to Irving.

Bill Simmons is convinced that Tsai will do what’s best for the Brooklyn Nets in the offseason instead of accommodating KD and Irving’s wishes:

“I think he’s embarrassed and confused by how the last couple of years went and is now in f**k you mode. I don’t think this is somebody that’s gonna be pushed around because Kyrie’s like, ‘I’ve opted in, now trade me to the Lakers.’

“Joe Tsai would rather have a team that plays hard that he’s proud to own that wins 40 games and fights for the play-in than have a team that has way more talent that he’s not proud to be a part of.” 😳- ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on the Nets’ owner (h/t @Krisplashed )

“Joe Tsai already kowtowed to these guys for a couple of years. The Harden trade, bringing Simmons, getting rid of the coach, paying DeAndre Jordan what they did like he kind of rolled over for these guys for a few years.”

Behind the superstar duo’s reported push, Joe Tsai gave the go-signal to mortgage their future to add James Harden to their already potent lineup. “The Beard” ended up playing only 80 games and practically forced the Nets to trade him to Philly for Ben Simmons.

Kyrie Irving, meanwhile, has been at the core of nearly every significant issue the Nets have been facing since 2019. He was previously suspended for going AWOL and cost Brooklyn last season for failing to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Brooklyn Nets have no interest in accommodating Kyrie Irving, per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (h/t @RealGM )

The Nets’ lack of chemistry due to Irving’s absence was heavily exploited by the Boston Celtics via a sweep in the first round of the playoffs. Right after the embarrassing loss, “Uncle Drew” would then announce that he will co-manage the team with Joe Tsai, GM Sean Marks and Kevin Durant.

Kyrie Irving’s lack of self-awareness became almost comedic when the Brooklyn Nets refused to give him a long-term extension. The mercurial point guard was confident the Nets would give in because he had the ultimate leverage in Kevin Durant.


When Joe Tsai played hardball, it became apparent that he was willing to lose KD in the process. Irving, without any leverage, opted into the remaining year of his contract. A few days later, Durant would request Tsai to be traded.

Joe Tsai and the Brooklyn Nets will bide their time to get the most out of a Kevin Durant trade

The Brooklyn Nets are not in a hurry to trade KD. [Photo: Hardwood Houdini]
The Brooklyn Nets are not in a hurry to trade KD. [Photo: Hardwood Houdini]

Kevin Durant doesn’t have a no-trade clause in his contract, which still runs until the 2025-26 season. This gives the Brooklyn Nets plenty of leverage in contract negotiations. Given Joe Tsai’s stance, it’ll take a historic haul for any team to acquire the wantaway superstar.

Bill Simmons speculated another reason why the billionaire will no longer give an inch to Durant and Kyrie Irving:

“The rich guys’ circles, I’m sure there are people who are like, ‘Hey Joe, what’s going on with the Nets? What are you doing, buddy? Why are you letting those guys run the team? You’re Joe Tsai. You’re Joe F*****g Tsai!!! You let these guys do to you? I just think he’s gonna stare these guys down and get the best deal possible.”

Brian Windhorst of ESPN explained that it could take at least three teams to move KD out of Brooklyn. The Phoenix Suns and the Miami Heat, Durant’s preferred destinations, just don’t have enough to acquire the former MVP.


Miami could be a dead end as Durant only wants to play there if Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry are still around. Phoenix, on the other hand, has four first-round picks and three pick swaps as huge starting points to start talking about a trade. They will certainly need the help of another team or maybe a few teams to land one of the all-time greats.

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava

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