Nets GM looks forward to crucial meeting with Kyrie to see if it’s the ‘right fit’

Kyrie Irving, Nets

The Brooklyn Nets are fed up with off-the-court drama.

Nets general manager Sean Marks doubled down on this in a taped interview aired over YES Network on Monday, a few days after his end-of-the-season press conference with reporters.

Once the rising star GM for plucking the Nets out of the mud, Marks is taking the flak for acceding power to superstars who have fulfilled their part of the bargain. He is hell-bent on bringing the culture back that he sold to superstars who have yet to deliver a championship for the franchise. Recalibrating their vision would include a total buy-in from their mercurial star guard Kyrie Irving.

“You want people here to be part of something bigger than themselves. It’s a team sports team game. It’s not individuals,” Marks said. “We want people to be here for the right reasons, and buy into their roles, find their roles, high-character guys.”

“We want to avoid the drama; we want to avoid the distractions. These last couple years here, whether it was expectations set on the team or some of the outside circumstances that were going on in the world, they affected our guys, both individually and as a group, really poorly, unfortunately.”

Irving, who recruited Kevin Durant to come with him in Brooklyn, is in hot water after missing a chunk of games in his first three seasons with the team for personal reasons. His refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine cost the Nets their title window this season as he was only limited to 29 games.

While Irving wants to remain with the Nets, the organization is not too keen to commit right away. Irving’s long-term future with the team remains a big question mark as both parties are at a crossroads.

The 30-year-old Irving has a $36.9 million player option which he could decline to sign a more lucrative, long-term extension with the Nets. He is eligible to extend for up to four years, $183.6 million, which other teams could also offer. But he could earn more with the Nets as they could sign him up to five years, $247.6 million.

“We have not had any conversation yet [about contract extension],” Mark said. “I look forward to getting in a room with him and Joe (Tsai) and his team, and we will. We’ll see what it looks like for Kyrie moving forward here, what he needs from us, and so forth.”

“So, again, it wouldn’t be right for me to comment on what hypothetical could happen because we don’t know. We haven’t had those conversations with Kyrie yet. But when they do, we’ll see if it’s the right fit for both sides.”

In other words, shape up or get ready to be shipped out.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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