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After Kyrie Irving requested a trade from the Nets on Friday after the two sides couldn’t agree on terms of a contract extension, ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins took the All-NBA guard to task on the NBA Today.
“What reaction?” Perkins asked ESPN’s Malika Andrews when she asked for Perkins’s thoughts on his trade request.
“This is Kyrie Irving. A guy that you cannot trust. Didn’t Kyrie Irving just say that Kevin Durant was his best friend? Right? So where is the loyalty? Right? If that’s your best friend, I don’t want that. Give me an enemy. For the simple fact that when you look at how Kevin Durant has been riding for Kyrie Irving since they arrived in Brooklyn…standing behind him through whatever his beliefs were, whatever he was doing, riding with him over James Harden.”
Now with Harden in Philadelphia and Irving requesting a trade, Perkins doesn’t understand how the star point guard could be asking for the same contract extension that he rejected two years ago from Brooklyn.
“Two years ago, didn’t the Brooklyn Nets try to give him, Kevin Durant and James Harden a contract extension? Didn’t Kyrie Irving turn it down? And James Harden. So now we get here. You have a stretch over a two week period where you’ve been playing outstanding basketball and now all of a sudden, that same contract that they had for you that you turned down, you want them to put that right back in front of your face again?
“And don’t give me all this about ‘Oh, they can trade him to the Lakers for Russell Westbrook!’ First of all, the Brooklyn Nets don’t have to do a damn thing. They need to do what’s best for the Brooklyn Nets. But again, we’re here supposed to be celebrating Jordan. This is supposed to be MJ day and we’re here dealing with Kyrie Irving…again.”
The Nets are expected to engage with the Lakers, Mavericks and Suns on a potential trade ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline. Irving informed Brooklyn that he plans to leave the franchise in free agency if he’s not dealt.