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When Kyrie Irving decided not opt in to his $21.3 million pay day with the Boston Celtics, one particular song popped into my head:
“Start spreading the news, I am leaving today, I want to be a part of it, New York.”
The classic words by the legendary Frank Sinatra summed it all up: his bags are packed and ready for the Big Apple.
As Irving now will officially become a free agent, the speculation has him moving to the big city some 200 miles away from his current Beantown home. His final destination when he gets there is still unclear.
The New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets seem to be the frontrunners for the shifty point guard’s services. With career averages of 22.2 points and 5.7 assists per game, a couple of finals appearances and one shiny ring, the bidding war for Irving should be fierce.
Where he fits best will be the overall question or what suits his needs best might be. The media,fans and team executives can all speculate as to Irving’s desires but what does he really want?
The New York Knicks:
Champion, all-star, go to guy, savior, you can sign the Knicks up for all of the above. The team is ready to put the recent past behind them and go back to the glory days of the 70s, 80s and 90s. With enough cap space to sign two max players, they definitely provide an alluring option to any star player in the NBA.
The team itself wields the third overall pick in this year’s draft and is also ripe with young talent like Dennis Smith, Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson. Irving might decide he’s ready to share the blame with another star by forfeiting half of the glory when they win.
Madison Square Garden has always been considered to be the Mecca of basketball. Will Irving want the bright lights of the city to intensify as he’s a part of the squad that’s supposed to bring the Knicks back? Can he withstand the scrutiny if the team can’t put the wins together right away?
The County of Kings provide a few things their Manhattan counterparts do not. They have a ready made playoff team just scratching the surface of their potential. They also have a ready made all-star in D’Angelo Russell.
Russell averaged 21.1 points and 7.0 per game leading the Nets to the sixth overall seed in the eastern conference. A back court combination featuring Irving and Russell would be unmatched in the conference and league wide there could only be a couple that could match the talent.
The Nets desire to take over the city can ultimately be fulfilled by snatching Irving away from the Knicks, for starters. They would then have to make a few more moves to add to that back court and win the NBA championship.
I can still hear Sinatra singing as I’m writing this, “I want to wake up in that city that never sleeps and find I’m king of the hill, top of the list, head of the heap.”
The most likely scenario of the off-season is Kyrie Irving goes to New York and totally changes one of those franchises. He’s already been seen around the city rubbing elbows with celebrities and popping up at various places. It seems as if he’s already embracing his new surroundings.
His decision will alter the whole city’s outlook on basketball not to mention the NBA’s free agent market. Irving has a big decision to make so why not make it in the Big Apple?
I’ll let Frank take us home now, thanks for reading.
“If I can make it there, you know, I’m gonna make it just about anywhere, come on, come through New York, New York, New York!”
(Lyrics are from”New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra)