Brooklyn, NY

Nets Bringing Back Irving Reminds Us the NBA is a Business, Above All

Genius Turner

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Despite unpredictable behavior, Kyrie Irving is arguably the most talented guard in the NBA.(Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons)

Despite Irving's vaccine refusal, Brooklyn Nets side with 'business, never personal'

Brooklyn, NY — In October, GM Sean Marks stunned Nets fans when announcing Kyrie Irving "will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant."

At the time, Marks felt making Irving an exception to NYC's vax mandate — by allowing him to play road games — undermined the team's best interest.

"No player is above the team," goes the saying. Ah, but because great players, not teams, win championships — perhaps Marks now understands why an iconic Dallas Cowboys coach used the following system:

Most coaches tell you they treat every player the same and then they treat them differently. Not Jimmy [Johnson]. He told us how he treats us differently based on what we can do for the team and how we can help the Dallas Cowboys win games. —Nate Newton

Coach Johnson's "star-tiered approach" resulted in winning back-to-back Super Bowls.

Marks oversees the highest-paid trio in NBA history — a whopping $115,000,000 just for three players (Durant, Irving & Harden), for a single season. Marks is well-aware the Nets' owner won't accept any excuses at the season's end.

The writing on the wall is clear: either Brooklyn wins its first NBA championship or "hasta la vista . . . baby."

No wonder Marks — despite endless criticism — welcomed the All-Star, Irving, back.

The face of ESPN, New York's own Stephen A. Smith, recently announced he has COVID. He then blasted the Nets for welcoming their unvaccinated, All-Star back.

“It’s one of the most shameful things they could’ve ever done,” Smith said.

Unlike Smith's "personal" take, GM Sean Marks listened closely to Joe Tsai's — Nets' owner — reasoning:

We’re trying to be practical. And I’ve always said I don’t want to make this a political issue. My only religion is to win games and win the championship.

In short, Tsai simply reminds us why the NBA is a business, above all.

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