Nets troll Knicks with Kyrie Irving jersey giveaway during early-season matchup – Yahoo Sports

Nets troll Knicks with Kyrie Irving jersey giveaway during early-season matchup - Yahoo Sports
30 Teams in 30 Days: Active Nets ready for big jump in East
The Brooklyn Nets recently announced a Kyrie Irving jersey giveaway for an October home game to celebrate their new star point guard.

The Nets were one of NBA free agencys big winners this summer, signing Irving and Kevin Durant, players both coveted by their crosstown rivals.

As we know, the All Star point guard left Boston this Summer to sign with the Brooklyn Nets, where hell (eventually) get the chance to play alongside fellow All Star Kevin Durant. When it comes to his life off the court, rumors are swirling that Irving has officially proposed to his girlfriend, Golden, who was recent spotted with a massive diamond ring on her finger.

When the Knicks failed to lure the star players who chose in tandem to sign with Brooklyn, the massive plans they laid out to score big in free agency ended with a class highlighted by Julius Randle and Taj Gibson.

Kyrie will make his debut with the Brooklyn Nets on October 23, as they host the Minnesota Timberwolves, followed by a matchup with the New York Knicks at the Barclays Center on October 25. The Nets have already announced a Kyrie Irving jersey giveaway for the first 10,000 fans in attendance for the much anticipated showdown against their crosstown rivals.

Part of that plan involved trading franchise cornerstone Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks to clear cap space.

According to Sports Gossip, the two have been linked together since last December, following Irvings split with Kehlani. Kyrie and Golden have not officially made an announcement regarding their rumored engagement, but that rock she has been sporting on her ring finger says it all.

Lest one think that the giveaway is simply tied to an early-season game to help gin up excitement for the new-look Nets, Brooklyn bypassed its season opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves for the promotion.

Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert are just two reasons the Nets are legitimate title contenders this season.

“Im not sold that this makes a lot of sense for the New York Knicks, but I also dont believe theyll get Kyrie Irving which is kind of a part of that deal as well. They certainly didnt get Anthony Davis.”

Like most summers in the NBA, the 2019 edition was chock full of trades, free agent news and player movement. From the defending-champion Toronto Raptors to just about every other team in the league, change was the most applicable word when it came to describing team rosters for the 2019-20 season. 

“He’s going to be there with KD so they should make a lot of noise. Only unfortunate part for the first time in New York history the Knicks arent the important team. Thats kind of funny to me.”

With the opening of training camps just around the corner, NBA.coms Shaun Powell will evaluate the state of each franchise as it sits today — in order of regular-season finish from 2018-19 — as we look at 30 teams in 30 days.

Durant also mentored Knicks forward, a Seattle, Washington native, when Triier was in high school and Durant was a member of the Seattle Sonics before they moved to Oklahoma and became the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Key additions:  Kevin Durant (free agency), Kyrie Irving (free agency), DeAndre Jordan (free agency), Garrett Temple (free agency), Wilson Chandler (free agency), Taurean Prince (trade)

Key departures:  DAngelo Russell, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Allen Crabbe, Jared Dudley, DeMarre Carroll, Ed Davis, Shabazz Napier

Durant had many ties to the organization. His business partner, Rich Kleiman, the co-founder and partner in Durants The Durant Company and Thirty Five Media, grew up a huge Knicks fan.

The lowdown:  The remarkable climb of a franchise left in ruins by a disastrous trade four years ago continued in earnest when the Nets reached the playoffs. This was a culmination of clever work by GM Sean Marks and a solid coaching job by Kenny Atkinson, and of course, the effort from a batch of hungry and scrappy players most of whom carried mild credentials.

It was a breakout season for Russell, the young point guard who showed maturity and a deadly jumper while earning an All-Star berth. That, symbolically, was yet another step in the right direction the franchise has taken since surrendering its future to the Boston Celtics in the ill-fated Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett trade.

“Maybe his heart is out of Golden State,” NBA writer, Steve Kyler told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast a bit before June and July’s NBA summer free agency frenzy.

Russell averaged 21.1 points and seven assists per game and ranked in the top 25 in fourth-quarter scoring. The club received a scare when swingman Caris LeVert, who started strongly, crashed early in the season with a gruesome-looking leg injury initially. However, LeVert eventually returned to the lineup by playoff time. Joe Harris led the league in 3-point shooting (47.4%) and won the Three-Point contest. Center Jarrett Allen made big strides defensively and became an internet sensation because of his rim-denying blocks against a handful of stars. And Spencer Dinwiddie, who shared the playmaking chores with Russell, transformed from a journeyman into a Sixth Man of the Year candidate with a career season, averaging 16.8 ppg and 4.6 apg.

Knicks Kevin Knox & RJ Barrett dont care about the Brooklyn Nets & getting Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant has added fuel to the fire. pic.twitter.com/z5mhPcjCNC

The Nets added to their uplifting season by taking the opening game of their playoff series against the Sixers. Strangely enough, bigger surprises and prizes awaited them in the offseason as 2018-19 was undoubtedly a turning point for Brooklyn.

Summer summary:  After showcasing Julius Erving to the world and winning a pair of ABA titles with him in the 1970s, the Nets franchise never attached itself to that level of star power again. Sure, they had a taste here and there: prime Jason Kidd, Deron Williams, post-Toronto Vince Carter and maybe a few others. Only four times did the Nets make the cover of Sports Illustrated, for example, but it was for Derrick Colemans petulance, Kidds excellence, Kenyon Martins snarl and earlier this decade when the mag bravely predicted the Nets (with an aging Garnett and Pierce) were title favorites. 

In a dizzy and a doozy of an offseason, the Nets bagged not one, but two franchise players in their primes with championship pedigree. Irving and Durant shook the league by arriving to Brooklyn in a package deal through free agency, a development that wouldve been met with laughter had you suggested it just years ago. Its the offseason the New York Knicks aimed for but will stare at across the East River in envy.

Credit Marks for largely making this happen. He has become one of the NBAs best GMs after inheriting a mess and creating an organization that appealed to a pair of elite talents. Durant and Irving saw what we saw: a club with a good young core, steered by a respectable coach and led by a GM who can take a thread of polyester and churn it into silk.

Theres a hitch, as you know. Durant, the two-time Finals MVP, is recovering from offseason Achilles surgery and theres the likelihood of him sitting the entire season. Even that worst-case scenario would be OK with the Nets, who have no urgency to take risks with arguably the NBAs best player. 

As for Irving, hes coming off a season where once again he solidified his place among the leagues premier point guards … and also fed his reputation for being quirky and moody. It was that kind of season with the Celtics, where Irving displayed poor leadership skills and couldnt push the Celtics into The Finals. He quickly prepared an exit strategy — one that was endorsed by Celtics fans — which led him to linking up with Durant and seeking a new frontier and beginning.

Durant and Irving made the Nets the co-winners of the Best Offseason Award, which they split with the Kawhi Leonard-Paul George LA Clippers. Brooklyn seems poised for another big jump in its redevelopment and it arriving in 2019-20 depends largely on Durant. But even if Durant sits out this season, Irving has every incentive to give the Nets what he didnt give the Celtics last season.

Brooklyns price for progress (besides a ton of money) was sacrificing Russell, whose value to the club dipped once Irving signed up. Yet he was the only significant loss for Brooklyn. It refused to extend Hollis-Jeffersons rookie deal and erased another obsolete player by tossing Crabbe (and his $18 million contract) to Atlanta to free up money for Durant and Irving.

In the Crabbe trade, the Nets had to send a pair of first-rounders to the Hawks, but that was a small price. In that trade, though, Brooklyn also got a developing swingman in Prince. He brings solid 3-point shooting (39% last season) and can team with Harris to give Brooklyn good court spacing.

As a bonus, the Durant-Irving package came with Jordan, their buddy and an established rebounding and shot-blocking veteran who gives depth at center. Allen will likely remain the starter, but Jordan provides frontcourt insurance at this stage of his career.

The summer was downright seismic for Brooklyn, and in time, the Nets can position themselves for a sharp rise in the Eastern Conference. With Durant and Irving, they have the necessary stars, and in Dinwiddie, LeVert and Allen, the required supporting cast. The degree of immediate improvement depends on Durants recovery, yet theres no mistaking where the empire state of mind lives when it comes to basketball in New York.

Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here , find his archive here and follow him on Twitter .

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.


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