Ahead of the start of the 2022-23 season, Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has high expectations for himself.
In an interview with Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (starts at 2:50 mark), Irving said he is "going for every piece of hardware that I could possibly get out of the NBA" entering his 12th season.
Shams Charania @ShamsCharania
Part 2 of Kyrie Irving on <a href="https://twitter.com/Stadium?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Stadium</a>: "I’m going for every piece of hardware that I could possibly get out of the NBA." On the Nets post-KD trade request, his team bonding event, admitting "I don't think it was my time to ask for a trade" with Cavs, Uncle Drew, meaning of A11Even. <a href="https://t.co/TI4IKfOBEs">pic.twitter.com/TI4IKfOBEs</a>
The Nets are certainly hoping for better results on the court after a frustrating and disappointing 2021-22 campaign.
Irving was limited to 29 games because of a combination of injuries and his refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine at a time when some places, including New York and Canada, had vaccine mandates.
Kevin Durant only played in 55 games, and Ben Simmons, who was acquired in a February trade with the Philadelphia 76ers, missed the entire season because of a back injury and mental health concerns.
Brooklyn ultimately finished 44-38 and earned the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs but was swept in the first round by the Boston Celtics.
The offseason featured nearly as much drama as the regular season. Durant demanded a trade if head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks weren't fired. None of those things happened, as all three remain members of the organization.
"I never thought that was 100 percent," Nash told reporters on Sept. 27 about Durant's demand. "There’s a lot of things—it’s not black and white like that. It was a lot of factors. A lot of things behind the scenes."
Irving received permission from the Nets to explore potential sign-and-trade opportunities early in the offseason. He will instead play out this campaign on his $36.5 million player option before becoming a free agent next summer.
If the Nets can stay healthy and avoid any of the drama that has plagued the franchise for the past 12 months, they have the upside to be one of the best teams in the NBA and a true title contender.
A seven-time All-Star, Irving was the 2011-12 Rookie of the Year. He has been named to the All-NBA team three times but has never been a first-team selection. The 30-year-old did play an integral role in the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the 2015-16 NBA championship.
In his limited playing time last season, Irving was one of the best offensive players in the league. He averaged 27.4 points, 5.8 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game with a 41.8 percent three-point rate.