Evan Roberts is one of the most prominent Nets fan in the region. And he just used his sizable platform to torch their owner.
The WFAN afternoon drive voice blasted Joseph Tsai on Monday, blaming him for the franchise’s current state of implosion amid the Kyrie Irving contract standoff (and fears about Kevin Durant’s future). Roberts called Tsai “clueless” and called on him to sell the Nets.
“Joseph Tsai is the worst owner and should be embarrassed. Because this is all self-inflicted,” Roberts said.
“I hope as he tweets about lacrosse or whatever garbage he tweets about, he realizes he doesn’t belong owning a professional sports team in New York. He is an unserious owner. And while he won’t get the attention of a James Dolan (the Knicks’ owner), I’ll tell you this right now: James Dolan would not allow this mess to occur. Joseph Tsai has created this mess.
“And I hope to God he sells the team. It’s the first time, I can’t believe I’m saying this, where an owner being so bad has caused me to think, ‘How can I be a season ticket holder for this franchise?’ But he’s pushing me.
“Congratulations, Joseph. No one else will say it. But you’re a clueless owner and I pray to God you sell the team.”
The Nets have given Irving permission to discuss sign-and-trade deals with other teams after extension talks went nowhere. The belief is the mercurial guard will decline his player option for next season by Wednesday’s deadline. Then Durant will demand a trade, blowing up the Nets’ superteam era before it ever really began.
It’s an interesting situation. General manager Sean Marks, head coach Steve Nash and Tsai have taken plenty of heat for enabling Irving’s cavalcade of nonsense the last two seasons. But should they also take the blame on the backend for finally standing up to Irving — a move that appears to have precipitated the anticipated breakup? Roberts seems to think so.
Also of note here: WFAN is the Nets’ radio home. The team is nowhere near as important to the station as the Giants or Yankees. When was the last time you heard a WFAN voice trash John Mara or Hal Steinbrenner like that, though? It will be interesting to see if there is any backlash on that front.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]