Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons push limits of player empowerment

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The black card labeled player empowerment had its bill returned with a red mark on it for the first time in nearly a decade after increasingly testing the limits of what can be expressed or exposed.

Kyrie Irving played a long game of chicken with the Brooklyn Nets, and the Nets called his bluff in a move that displayed an organizational backbone, telling Irving in a statement and with an actual voice his presence will not be determined by his schedule, but theirs.

Either that or Kevin Durant played Jack Nicholson’s part and ordered the code red. Irving’s word salad, false promises and eye-rolling explanations finally fell on unconvinced ears as the Nets exercised some common sense — and likely, caught Irving off guard.

And quietly, Ben Simmons showed up in Philadelphia after seemingly vowing he never would again, even though that relationship running its course feels much easier to diagnose than Irving with the Nets.

It’s pushback, in a way.

Neither Irving nor Simmons are the sole headliners for their respective franchises. And Simmons believes he has a case for being done wrong by management and his coach, thus taking a hard stance on his attendance and hoping his truancy would result in a transfer to a new gym in a new city.

He blinked — for now.

It wasn’t that the 76ers stood firm and refused to deal a player with four years left on his deal. The franchise took the unprecedented stance of withholding paychecks and calling Simmons’ bluff, while simultaneously asking for the moon and stars in return for his services in the market.

This untenable situation still has more twists left to turn, as Simmons still has to deal with the locker room in Philadelphia for the time being.

The locker room’s voice in Brooklyn was made loud and clear as Nets general manager Sean Marks made a point to note Durant, James Harden and Joe Harris, among others, were involved in the decision to essentially deactivate Irving until he gets vaccinated — if he…



Source : yahoo

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