NBA free agency for the 2019-2020 season had yet to begin and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski already dropped a bomb.
Free agent Kyrie Irving is meeting with the Brooklyn Nets in New York on Sunday and both sides are motivated to move quickly toward reaching a 4-year, $141M deal, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 29, 2019
Welcome to your new team, Kyrie Irving.
Kyrie started off as a franchise savior, turned to a superstar sidekick that hit one of the biggest shots in NBA history with the Cavs. After all that, he demanded his way out of Cleveland in search for a role as THE Man.
Kyrie landed in Boston to mixed results. Boston was a very good team in the East, but Irving was never able to completely lead the team like he wanted. After opting out of the final year of his second NBA contract, Irving is moving on to the next chapter and “come home” to the Nets.
In a way, it’s only fitting that he will be playing for the Nets. Kyrie’s NBA dream took shape way back in the fourth grade when his youth team played in the Continental Airlines Arena, then home of the New Jersey Nets. Kyrie had called it “the best day of his life” and promised that he “will play in the NBA”.
Now the former New Jersey high school hoops star will be playing for the team closest to home.
No one knows exactly when the plan was plotted for this homecoming. Maybe it was when he had made a phone call to former teammate LeBron James last season, apologizing for not understanding how hard it was to lead a team.
Maybe during that call, Kyrie was inspired by the man who made the one of most famous homecoming moves ever in sports. It’s possible that it was then that he figured out that he wanted to extend his NBA legacy not far from his backyard.
Kyrie now joins an upbeat Nets team that has exceeded expectations in the recent years. After what seemed like a botched rebuilding progress just only five years ago, the Nets have slowly become one of the more promising teams in the league last year, even without a bonafide superstar.
They might have lost their leading scorer, D’Angelo Russell, but will be adding the 2012 Rookie of the Year and a 2014 All-Star Game MVP in Kyrie to a newly stacked line-up.
The 27-year-old guard has vocally thrived to be the main man of his teams in the past. He should fully get the opportunity in Brooklyn. Even though he will be joined by Kevin Durant (who also reportedly agreed to sign with the Nets), this should no doubt be Kyrie’s team.
As Durant nurses his torn Achilles, Kyrie will be leading the Nets into their future. He’ll cross opponents up and throw alley-oops to DeAndre Jordan and Jarrett Allen. He’ll still make those crazy layups with ridiculous angles over defenders, only this time in a clean, black Nets jersey. He will be the team’s new shining star.
But more than anything else, he will be “home”.
“In my heart I always knew I wanted to play back at home,” Irving said in his Instagram post. “Home is where my heart is and it’s always been there simply because of such a great love that I have for my family and the way I grew up. I wouldn’t change anything about this journey at all. Its brought me back here and that’s home. Home is where my family is. Home is where my legacy will continue
“I’m happy to be in Brooklyn.”
Photos from Getty Images