Windhorst: Kyrie Irving's Treatment of Nets Teammates Factored into Contract Talks

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 29, 2022

BROOKLYN, NY - APRIL 23: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets is introduced before the game against the Boston Celtics during Round 1 Game 3 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs on April 23, 2022 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets chose not to give Kyrie Irving a contract extension, and the issue reportedly went well beyond money.

According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst on Get Up, the team leadership wanted to change the status quo from last season.

"It wasn't just about the vaccine mandate. It was about the way Kyrie Irving treated his teammates, about the way Kyrie Irving treated his coaches," Windhorst reported (2:39 in video).

The Nets believed in order for Irving to remain with the team, they needed a "renegotiation of the way the team operates."

Despite entering the year as a title contender, Brooklyn finished with just the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference and was swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics.

Irving only appeared in 29 games last season, missing significant time because of New York City laws that required the COVID-19 vaccine for indoor arenas. In three years with the Nets, the seven-time All-Star has played just 103 games.

The point guard has still impressed when on the court, averaging 27.1 points and 6.0 assists per game in Brooklyn. He has been efficient as well, with a 49.0 percent field-goal rate, 40.6 three-point percentage and 92.0 percent free-throw rate.

With Irving, Kevin Durant and a healthy Ben Simmons, the Nets could be a dangerous team in the East, though it makes sense why leadership would want to see more from the group before committing to Irving long term.

Irving and Durant shared the floor for just 17 games last season, while Simmons didn't see any action after coming over in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers.