Nets Owner Joe Tsai Reportedly Didn't Care Where They Traded Kyrie Irving As Long As It Wasn't To The Lakers Since That's What He Wanted
Now that the dust is starting to settle around the Kyrie trade we're starting to get more and more details and man do they make this entire thing even crazier.
The entire world knew Kyrie Irving wanted to become a Laker and join LeBron out in LA. He knew it, the Lakers knew it, we knew it, even LeBron knew it
Given the uncertainty of what Kyrie will decide this summer as an UFA, the Lakers obviously made sense because they had some nice unprotected picks to trade and I'm sure they felt like Kyrie would stick around in LA after this season.
Here's where it gets good.
I think all of us at some point in our lives have held a grudge. We've all been petty in one way or another. People screw you over and you hate them for life, that's usually how it goes. What's comforting to know is the same is true for billionaire basketball owners.
It's fair to say that ever since he arrived in Brooklyn, Kyrie was making the life Joe Tsai a living hell. It was one thing after another while also not living up to the hype and expectations on the court. If you're going to be an asshole, you have to win and win at a high level for it to be tolerable. Kyrie did not make that happen. So when it came time to decide where the Nets were going to trade Kyrie, the Nets owner decided to be petty as hell
How can you not love that? Oh you want to screw me and my franchise over? Well guess what, I'll take any other deal on the table as long as it does not result in you becoming a Laker. That's so petty I have nothing but respect for it. Who cares if it was the best offer, the Lakers were not getting Kyrie as long as Joe Tsai was still the owner.
It didn't even matter that the Lakers put BOTH unprotected picks on the table
Before we knew that, I did think it was a little weird once we saw the Kyrie package knowing that the Lakers had those picks to offer. If they were on the table, aren't those extremely valuable given that the Lakers will most likely be dogshit in 2027 and 2029 in a post-LeBron world? I thought maybe LeBron lost his battle against Jeanie Buss to invest in this year's Lakers team, but it appears that no unprotected picks could trump Joe Tsai's pettiness and I find that incredible.
From the Nets side, it's not like they accepted a terrible package, so saying no to the Lakers probably felt even better than normal knowing that they were still getting pieces and assets they can use to retool. A good old twist of the knife situation. It makes me wonder how many other trades are actually the result of a spiteful owner compared to actually being the best package available. This can't be the only time this has happened.
Honestly, good on the Nets. They were under no obligation to send Kyrie to where he wanted to go. It's wild that Kyrie even told them a preferred list as if that mattered after all the shit he pulled during his tenure as a Net. This wasn't a situation where the owner trades a longtime franchise star to a place where he can maybe win after a decade of service. I actually respect the owner giving him the finger and saying you'll go where I send you. It seemed all year that Tsai was sick of Kyrie's shit and at some point enough is enough.
Meanwhile, over in LA, it doesn't seem like LeBron is handling things well