In a recent group chat, Kyrie Irving urged his Nets teammates to skip the restarted season this summer, according to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News, who says the star guard also put forth the idea of players starting their own league.
Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) hears from sources that Irving never said the Nets should start their own league in response to the bubble plan. However, the wording of that denial leaves some room for interpretation — it doesn’t mean Irving never floated the concept, or that it wasn’t part of a separate conversation from the one about participating in the bubble.
Either way, it’s an eyebrow-raising idea. It’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility that the world’s best players could launch and run a successful league, but it would be a long, challenging process to get enough players on board and to attempt to build the sort of infrastructure the NBA already has in place. For now, it’s not really a realistic possibility.
For what it’s worth, Rooks adds that Irving left the group chat following the publication of Bondy’s report.
Here’s more from around the Atlantic division:
- Within that same Daily News article, Bondy cites a source who says Celtics forward Jayson Tatum has expressed some reluctance about playing this summer, since he’s eligible for a maximum-salary extension this offseason and feels as if there will be an elevated risk of injury when play resumes. While Bondy’s report may be accurate, I’d be shocked if Tatum didn’t ultimately suit up — even a major injury likely wouldn’t prevent the C’s from offering him a lucrative long-term deal.
- Even at full strength, the Nets wouldn’t be a real threat to win the title this season, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times, who lauds Kevin Durant‘s willingness to remain patient with his Achilles recovery rather than pushing to return to action in Orlando.
- As first reported by Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic (Twitter link), the Knicks are hiring Pelicans scout Alex Kline to a front office role. Kline will take on a larger role in New York, working under new assistant GM Walt Perrin, league sources tell Vorkunov.