In 2019 summer, the Brooklyn Nets acquired Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, and things have only gotten worse since then.
Nets owner Joe Tsai has been drowning while attempting to play damage control due to the playoff struggles and trade requests, and Kyrie Irving’s most recent antisemitic outburst has brought the Nets to national attention. Kyrie Irving was first given a five-game suspension by the Nets, along with a list of requirements. Today, Irving and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver met to talk about the punishment.
Although Irving’s ban might be shortened, the All-absence Stars might alter the team’s course. As Irving serves his suspension, let’s take a look at three emerging storylines.
1. Nets’ Coaching Search
Will the Nets hire Ime Udoka as their next head coach is the topic on everyone’s mind in the NBA?
The former coach of the Boston Celtics, Udoka, received a one-year ban from the organization after it was discovered that he had an inappropriate consensual relationship with a female staff member. Despite the fact that the Nets hired Udoka right away after firing Steve Nash, recent sources claim that the team is exercising prudence before making a choice.
Udoka is undoubtedly a championship-level coach and has a fantastic rapport with Kevin Durant, but the Nets’ current reality show-like environment might be made worse by bringing Udoka on board.
Jacque Vaughn, the interim head coach, might be the right candidate. Vaughn has been an assistant coach with the Nets since 2016. He previously served as the head coach of the Orlando Magic for two seasons. He is appreciated by the players and the other coaches because he is familiar with the team’s culture.
Quin Snyder may be a different name to keep an eye out for. Snyder has demonstrated his ability to assemble playoff-caliber teams in Utah, despite the fact that they have never advanced to the NBA Finals. Snyder understands how to win games, at the very least during the regular season, since he only had a losing record in two of his eight seasons as the Jazz’s head coach. And the 4-7 Nets urgently need someone with that kind of talent.
2. What does Kevin Durant do?
Durant has already tried and failed to force his way out of Brooklyn. In the offseason, he initially demanded the dismissal of Steve Nash and the general manager, Sean Marks. Well, approximately two months too late, Durant did receive a portion of his request.
All that Durant cares about is hoops, he has frequently stated. He wants to avoid the controversy and spend his time on the court, which serves as his haven, dropping buckets with ease. But with these Nets, it’s been nothing but drama and generally defeats, which is Durant’s worst nightmare.
On both ends, he is being asked to accomplish a lot. Durant had to follow MVP front-runner Luka Doncic during their most recent game against the Dallas Mavericks while frequently facing double and triple teams on the offensive end of the court. Durant still scored 26 points on 10-20 shooting, but he missed a crucial free throw late in the game that would have forced OT.
How long Durant will put up with Irving’s antics and Sean Marks’ shortcomings as a general manager is still up in the air.
3. Will Ben Simmons ever figure it out?
Ben Simmons still has the appearance of being hesitant to shoot the basketball. Simmons averages 5.3 field goal attempts per game, 5.6 points, 6 rebounds, and 6.6 assists in around 30 minutes each game. Simmons’s figures for assists and rebounds are respectable, but they must soar through the ceiling for Simmons to receive meaningful playing time.
Having Simmons completely ignored, other coaches can plan defenses to suffocate Durant. Given Simmons’ talent, it is quite disappointing to witness. If he is very tuned in on defense, he can ruin the game plan of the entire squad. However, the effort must be there, and Simmons frequently gives the impression that he does not want to play professional basketball.
The Nets are in serious need of seeing the old Ben Simmons. He must be prepared to take floaters in the lane, attack the hoop, and attempt free throws. Although a Big-3 of Durant, Irving, and Simmons sounds wonderful, each player has their own problems that must be resolved before the Nets can be considered a legitimate title contender.