Kyrie Irving in March 2022. Mar 8, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts after scoring during the second half against the Charlotte Hornets at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets were rumored to be moving on from Kyrie Irving with many believing he could be dealt with on or before draft night.

Well according to The Atheltic’s Shams Charania, the All-Star point guard has opted into his $36.5 million option, remaining put on the team for at least one more season. While stating the reason for his decision, Irving cites himself as someone not normal and who “dares to be different.”

“Normal people keep the world going, but those who dare to be different lead us into tomorrow,” Irving told The Athletic. “I’ve made my decision to opt-in. See you in the fall. A11even.”

With Irving opting in, he can start negotiating an extension with the franchise. If the two parties can’t agree on a deal, he becomes a free agent next summer. Irving signed his massive four-year, $136.5 million contract with the Nets in 2019, joining his friend Kevin Durant with the expectation to win an NBA title.

The 30-year-old point guard caused a lot of commotion earlier this season after refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccination. As a result, Irving missed a large part of the season until he was finally brought back on a part-time basis, allowed to only play during Brooklyn’s road games. When he did play, he was amazing but he couldn’t be on the court at home due to the city’s vaccine mandate.

Mayor Eric Adams eventually reversed the mandate in March but the Nets’ playoffs hopes were already in shambles and ended in a first-round exit by the Boston Celtics.

Say whatever you want about Irving, but he has kept his word as in March he said he’s not leaving Durant, adding that it’s up to them to take the team where they are expected to go.

Irving said in March, “There’s no way I could leave my man [Durant] anywhere,” before clarifying in April, “I think that it really entails us managing this franchise together alongside.”

According to DraftKings, the Nets are the odds-on favorite to win the NBA Championship in 2023.


About Jasper Jones

A native east coaster via Connecticut, Jasper is a writer for The Comeback and Audacy Sports. He decided to head south for college, attending the University of Kentucky and graduating with a degree in broadcast journalism. Prior to joining The Comeback, Jones spent a year writing for FanSided's college football blog, Saturday Blitz, covering news surrounding the sport and recruiting. He spent the same amount of time doing some freelance work for the tabloid/sports outlet BlackSportsOnline. In his free time, Jones loves to cheer on his Kentucky Wildcats, collect sneakers, read a good book, and get in some gains at the gym. You can follow him on Twitter @jonesj2342.