kyrie irving
Kim Klement | USA TODAY Sports

A brief disclaimer before we dig into the latest nugget of Kyrie IrvingNets intrigue: It comes from longtime NBA reporter Ric Bucher, who has had a rough week.

Bucher reported on Colin Cowherd’s show that Ben Simmons had left the Nets group text chat after his teammates pressed him to play Game 4 of the Celtics series. But The Athletic’s Shams Charania swatted that story down on Pat McAfee’s show. So keep that in mind here.

Anyway, back to Irving. Bucher says he wanted the Nets to build a clause into his contract that said he only had to play 60 games each season and he never had to play on consecutive days. A revelation that is both wholly unsurprising and wildly irrational.

Here’s what Bucher said on his “On The Ball” podcast via WFAN:

I’m told he wanted his new contract to guarantee he wouldn’t have to play more than 60 games in a season and would not have to play any back-to-backs. Which he apparently referred to as “inhumane.”

Are we sure Stephen A. Smith cannot get back on First Take tomorrow?

Who knows if this is true. Charania is basically Irving’s PR guy, so I’m sure he will have something to say if it is not. But the fact it seems completely possible on its face is problem enough. Because it’s always something with Irving. The only reliable thing about him is his unreliability.

Obviously the guy doesn’t need to play 82 games each season. But to ask to play 75% of the schedule at most when he is certainly not offering to get take a corresponding 25% pay cut? And to do it after he blew up the previous season with his vaccination saga? Come on.

If it is true, it goes to show you there is absolutely no limit to Irving’s delusion. If I was general manager Sean Marks, I would have probably been praying for Joseph Tsai to fire me when this request came over the wire.

James Kratch can be reached at

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.