An Impasse refers to any deadlock or stalemate between two sides. Kyrie Irving seems to be in the middle of just that with the management of The Brooklyn Nets. This is perhaps, due to his seemingly callous attitude in the context of his responsibilities as an NBA player. He seems to have had several distractions during the regular season. Therefore, he is partially responsible for Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets being swept in the first round of the playoffs.
Joe Tsai and the other Nets Brass have expressed unwillingness to give Irving a max contract extension. Therefore, tensions have escalated between the two sides as Kai approaches the final year of his contract. The friction between these two parties is worth understanding.
Kyrie Irving might just be threatening the Brooklyn Nets
The NBA used to have more power in the hands of the franchise owners. However, times have changed and player empowerment is the theme of the modern league. LeBron James and Kevin Durant are examples of players, who use their power to force their ways out of unfavorable situations or teams. Moreover, “lesser stars” like James Harden, Anthony Davis, and Ben Simmons did the same.
Kyrie’s situation with the Nets is a bit more complicated. There is no arguing that he is one of the most skilled and talented players the NBA has ever seen. Be that as it may, he is always preoccupied with issues that are “much bigger than basketball“.
Irving refused to take the vaccine mandate during the peak of the Covid pandemic. The NBA had left the decisions up to the individual franchise, based on its state’s laws and rules. As the pandemic situation was perhaps the worst in New York, there was a compulsory vaccine mandate for the home teams of New York; The Nets and The Knicks.
This meant that he could not play home games unless he got vaccinated. The Nets guard refused to budge on his personal beliefs and did not take the vaccine. The NBA media was very harsh on him for this “selfish” reason and accused him of betraying his team. The Nets staff did not take too kindly to his actions either when being interviewed by the media. Be that as it may, Irving has the upper hand.
Kevin Durant joined the Brooklyn Nets to play with Kyrie Irving. KD is a player that the Nets hope to have a championship run with. Additionally, there is no denying that Kyrie is simply special. Therefore, Brooklyn will feel pressure from Durant as well, to satisfy Irving despite all the issues with his erratic behavior.
The threat of opting out the last year and perusing free agency is significant
An NBA player’s contract has a concept of a player option towards the end. This is in a way rewarding the player with guaranteed money for signing a long-term deal with a franchise. Kyrie signed a 4-year, 136-million-dollar contract with the Nets and has finished three out of the 4 years. Therefore, he has the player option of opting out of playing the final year of his deal if his contract extension isn’t assured.
This would definitely be considered a threat towards the Nets to force them into paying him top dollar. The alternative would be to risk him sitting out and eventually walking away. While Kyrie has the right to get his money’s worth, reports have emerged that it is highly unlikely he will actually sit out even if the Nets do not match his expectations.
Kyrie Irving indicates that he intends to re-sign with the Brooklyn Nets in the summer
“There’s no way I’m leaving my man #7 anywhere.”https://t.co/76YZHrgK3I
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) March 26, 2022
The NBA media seems to consider giving Irving a max deal a very risky thing to do. Be that as it may, the compulsory vaccine mandate might not be present next year. Therefore Irving better suit up for the Nets throughout the season if he actually gets a max contract extension from them.