ben simmons
Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports

The Nets took their drama on the road this weekend.

Brooklyn’s slow-motion franchise implosion continued to entertain at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Here are the highlights:

Kyrie Irving would like you to go through the proper channels. Irving made an appearance to be seen, of course. But he did not attend the Nets’ game. Because that would be too normal for a guy who just opted into a $37 million salary for next season. He rebuffed media requests, including this particularly pithy response to The Post’s Brian Lewis.

I would love to know what Irving considers the right channels. You would think a differently-built visionary like himself would want to speak for himself and handle all inquiries. Does Irving have a press secretary, and is it Shams Charania? Would he prefer you call his agent (who is also his stepmother)? In the interest of balanced commentary, he apparently was more polite with The Athletic’s Alex Schiffer. Still. Every time you think Irving cannot be more unlikable, he finds a way to raise his game. And he’s standing next to a guy who literally has on his shirt, “It costs $0.00 to be a nice person.”


Ben Simmons is in midseason form. By that, we mean wearing a gaudy shirt while watching the Nets play basketball, but not participating himself. Simmons — who could be the face of the franchise (!) in due time — also declined to field questions from reporters. But he was at least gregarious in doing so.

Did Cam Thomas shade Steve Nash? #NetsTwitter was breaking down the below footage like the Zapruder film. Our verdict: It’s a young player giving an awkward interview during a summer league game. He may see Nash for the substitute teacher he is, but he’s not going to try to be openly defiant.

Kevin Durant still isn’t traded. KD remains in a bunker somewhere as the Nets look for a blockbuster deal (a process that reportedly could linger into training camp and maybe even the season). The Nets want the moon for Durant. No team interested in acquiring Durant wants to completely gut its team, given the whole point of getting Durant would be to win a title. And Durant will try to pressure the Nets to trade him to a preferred spot for a lousy return (because he wants to win a title in the new place). Round and round they go.

James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.