Of all the wonderful words of wisdom that the great poet and philosopher Kyrie Andrew Irving has uttered in recent years, this is probably the greatest: “Are you sure the Earth is round?” His thesis: for centuries people believed that the Earth was flat, now the consensus is that it is round; but who really knows what is really going on in this universe? Everyone must have their own experiences, they must be allowed to have other thoughts and opinions – this is how fruitful dialogue develops.
So, another experiment: what if the team that managed just the fourteenth-best regular season record in the 30-club NBA basketball league and only made the playoffs through a play-in game, in the end won the title?
Sounds crazy, and it is; it has a lot to do with Irving, who not only doubts the shape of this planet, but also refused the Covid vaccination and therefore lost a large portion of games due to New York City rules. Add to that the injury of Nets co-leader Kevin Durant and the fact that after trading with the Philadelphia 76ers (James Harden was sold), signing Ben Simmons came to Brooklyn with a herniated disc.
Nets face Daniel Theis and Boston Celtics in the playoffs
Only: Durant is in shape. Simmons is close to being included in the list and Irving can play anywhere again. The playoff against Cleveland (without Simmons) showed what Brooklyn is capable of when everyone is on board: Irving had 34 points and 12 assists, Durant 25 points and 11 passes, Bruce Brown (nine rebounds), Andre Drummond (eight) and Nic Claxton (nine) provided the basket protectors.
The Nets are favorites in the first round of Sunday’s playoffs against the Boston Celtics (with German center Daniel Theis) and should be favorites if they advance to the finals – the Phoenix Suns of the Western Conference could end up being the big opponent in the finals.
So what would you say about the league if these Nets really did become champions?
The league is growing financially, no doubt for the next US TV deal, the NBA is expected to demand eight billion dollars a year – more than three times more than it currently is. She’s a pop culture phenomenon, basketball is cool. Only: In terms of sport, the league is losing its North Star.
The regular season is, there’s no other way to put it, a dubious event. Clubs with no chance of making the playoffs don’t much care if they lose – they build a young team in peace and are more likely to vote early at the annual talent fair due to poor placement. The really good teams worry about this regular season like bubblegum under a front-row seat in the stadium – what matters is that by the start of the playoffs, celebrities are healthy, fit and in a good mood; so the best give up regularly if they feel a little thing in their left little finger.
League boss Adam Silver has announced that he will do something about artistic breaks; But he said that five, four and two years ago. What has changed: nothing. The title for the Nets would be the final proof that something is wrong in the NBA – or as the great poet and philosopher Kyrie Andrew Irving would say: It would be an experience that should lead to allowing other thoughts than that with the longing for the greatest possible profit.