The Kyrie Irving era is mercifully over — is this the end of the Nets as a contender, too?

Kyrie Irving is said to be considering the “nuclear” risk of sitting out the remainder of the NBA season if the Nets do not address his request to be traded before Thursday’s trade deadline.

We’ll stop here until you stop laughing. Or shake your head.

Nets owner Joe Cyr and GM Sean Marks should never allow Irving to suit up in a black-and-white Brooklyn uniform again after the latest in a surprising series of dramatic twists and turns since Kevin Durant had agreed to join. Free agent mega duo in the summer of 2019.

And they quickly sent the most talented headache packing on Sunday, signing old friend Spencer Dinwiddie, useful role player Dorian Finney-Smith and a few draft picks (unreserved 2029 first-rounders and 2029 second-rounders in 2027 and 2029). Brought back from Cuban and the Mavericks, who also acquired Markieff Morris in the exchange.

Now the ball is back on the injured Durant’s court with the organization firmly on his future, just months after he declined his summertime trade request to take another swing at a championship with Irving. .

Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant (7) dunks during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023.
Kevin Durant is returning to a very different Nets team from a knee injury after the Kyrie Irving trade, or maybe he’ll be the next superstar to leave.

Irving and KD appeared in just 74 regular-season games together in four seasons with the Nets, including Durant missing the entire first year after Achilles surgery. That number also includes just 16 games as a Big 3 with James Harden before he was similarly forced out of town and traded to Philadelphia in a blockbuster import of Ben Simmons last winter.

With the trade deadline less than a day away, Durant has likely already made the organization aware of his thoughts on whether he believes the Nets can go with the current build.

Dinwiddie posted a career-best 20.6 points per game for the Nets while Durant was sidelined in 2019-20, and they played three games together at the start of the following season before Dinwiddie blew out his knee. Given and then signed with the Wizards through free agency next summer.

Dinwiddie’s departure preceded much of the drama that followed in Brooklyn, including last season’s denial of a COVID-19 vaccination and earlier this season’s promotion of a movie containing anti-Semitic messages.

Irving’s contract demands are now the immediate issue for the Mavericks, who let Jalen Brunson go in free agency last summer to sign with the Knicks. Longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein reported Sunday that Cuban and the Mavis front office Superstar Luka Doncic consulted. Before approving a trade for Irving.

Jalen Brunson #13 and Spencer Dinwiddie #26 of the Dallas Mavericks look on during the game against the Utah Jazz during Round 1 Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs.
The Mavericks traded for Kyrie Irving and sent Spencer Dinwiddie (26) back to the Nets in part because Jalen Brunson (13) was dumped for the Knicks in the offseason.
NBAE via Getty Images

But Irving, recently voted off his eighth career All-Star appearance (as an Eastern Conference starter), is now forced to move out of a third NBA city with title aspirations. He did so in Cleveland after winning a championship with LeBron James and in Boston — where his father Dredrick starred in college (BU alumni plug!) — after two seasons with the Celtics.

According to reports, the Nets chose the Mavericks’ trade package over these competing offers:

• Lakers: Russell Westbrook and two first-round picks (2027, 2029)

• Suns: Chris Paul, Jae Crowder, a first-round pick

• Trimmers: Luke Kennard, Terrence Mann, one first-round pick, two first-round pick swaps

Of the various Irving-related trade rumors in recent times, the one I’d be most interested in seeing would be a dual matchup between Durant and Westbrook in Brooklyn and LeBron and Irving with the Lakers. KD and Westbrook played eight seasons with the Thunder before Durant signed with the Warriors and won two championships with Steph Curry.

It would have been an interesting “go-to” move by the Nets, and it makes you wonder if Markus can add another big-ticket addition before Thursday’s deadline or if he’ll stick with his current deal with Durant Blockbuster. Will break the roster. Failed to finish last summer.

Today’s back page

Back page of the New York Post on February 6, 2023
The New York Post

Read more:

⚾ Carlos Beltran is leaving the YES Network for a job in the Mets front office.

🏒 The Islanders signed new star Bo Horvat to a $68 million extension.

🏀 North Carolina faces the unthinkable if something doesn’t change fast.

The Knicks’ madness continues.

Even at this point, don’t try to figure out the Knicks and their ongoing season. Just embrace their unpredictability.

A day after losing in overtime at home to the Clippers, the Knicks trailed by 21 points in the first quarter before rebounding for a 108-97 win against a full-strength 76ers team Sunday night at the Garden. Which came with an eight. -Game Road winning streak.

As in their victory over the Heat without Jaylen Brunson earlier in the week, the Knicks’ bench came through again when RJ Barrett was a last-minute scratch due to illness.

Myles McBride #2 of the New York Knicks is greeted by Evan Fournier #13 after making a 3-point shot in the victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Evan Fournier, Myles McBride and Isaiah Hartenstein sparked the Knicks to an unexpected win over the powerhouse 76ers.
Robert Sabo for the New York Post

Evan Fournier (17 points) and Myles McBride (14) had season highs, and Isaiah Hartenstein grabbed 14 rebounds – to match Joel Embiid on the boards – before being subbed out late in the fourth quarter.

Entering Tuesday’s trip to Orlando to face hot-shot rookie Paolo Banchero and the improving Magic, the Knicks (29-26) are a half-game behind the Heat for the coveted No. 6 spot in the Eastern Conference.

Sunday’s win also ensures the Knicks will be above .500 entering Thursday’s trade deadline, and team president Leon Rose has the responsibility to reward Tom Thibodeau’s team and one or Change the two contracts to strengthen the roster for a real playoff push.

Postcard from Phoenix

The Post’s team of football writers is in Phoenix this week to cover the Super Bowl. What’s it like to be there and see the sights and sounds leading up to the big game? This is from the first dispatch. Ryan Dunleavywho has had better tours:

If the Chiefs or Eagles have a Super Bowl 57 game day like I did on my way to Phoenix on Sunday, the final score will be a blowout.

At least that’s how I look waiting in the emergency room 14 hours after leaving the house.

A four-hour plane delay felt all too common for travel these days. Credit American Airlines for finding a new plane and making sure the flight took off the next morning instead of rescheduling. Sitting like a woman with a dog in her purse was an adventure when I’m allergic to dog hair.

Every time I took a step, there was real anxiety. I think I broke my toe doing housework before I left New Jersey. After making the mistake of taking my sneaker off on the plane, I couldn’t get it back on because of the swelling. These airport and street-tracked socks will go straight into the trash.

Downtown Phoenix is ​​considered a desirable Super Bowl location because many of the week’s main venues are within it. Walk distance from each other. Oh good!

Super story lines

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes arrives before Super Bowl 57, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Phoenix.
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs reach Super Bowl 57 first.

Super Bowl week is here, and there’s no shortage of stories that will be widely talked about over the next several days.

• In case you haven’t heard, SB LVII marks the first time in major sports history that two siblings will play for opposing teams: Chiefs All-World tight end Travis Kelce and Eagles center Jason Kelce.

• Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts will also make history as the first black quarterbacks to start against each other in a Super Bowl, and sideline bosses Andy Reid (a former Eagles head coach) and Nick Siriani (a former Chiefs receiver coach) will face their former teams.

• From a local perspective, some Giants fans will want to follow whether 2021 first-round pick Kadarius Toney — who was traded during the season — will be with the Chiefs after suffering an ankle injury in the AFC Championship Game. clothes for

• And with Tom Brady retiring again, at age 27, Mahomes could become the only active quarterback — and the 13th in history — with multiple championships.

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