Kyrie Irving agreed to a $90-million extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, which means the 22-year-old point guard will earn $219,000 per regular season game over the next five years.
Irving has never played in the postseason. In fact, Cleveland hasn’t played in a postseason game since LeBron took his talents to South Beach.
“I’ll tell you what: It’s time to win more than 35 games next season,” basketballinsiders.com NBA analyst Lang Greene said on The MoJo Show. “If you’re going to be paid like an elite guy, there’s no bias. Elite guys bring wins to the table. It’s time for Kyrie Irving to start winning. A lot of times people blame supporting casts, but your elite guys throughout NBA history have been able to will a team to 38 to 40 to 42 wins before the cavalry comes.”
“I’m really looking at Kyrie Irving now this season to take that step that John Wall took last season when he got his max deal from Washington and really mature into that All-Star point guard that he has already become, but really start to earn those stripes.”
Speaking of stripes, Jason Kidd really hasn’t earned his in his brief coaching career, but the Milwaukee Bucks didn’t seem to notice – or care. Earlier this week, the Bucks sent two second-round draft picks to Brooklyn to secure the coaching rights to Kidd.
And then they fired head coach Larry Drew.
“Unbelievable,” Greene said. “I’ll tell you what. I think Jason Kidd has violated every unwritten (or) written code in NBA coaching circles, coveting Larry Drew’s job while he was still occupying it with Milwaukee. It’s a tough break for Larry Drew. Just a class guy (who) shows up to work every day.”
“And for Jason Kidd to (take his job), that is just a sickening situation, in my opinion. Of course, Jason Kidd has his own reasons (for doing what he did), but I just totally think the situation is just sickening. And for Milwaukee to (acquire) Jason Kidd before they even let Larry Drew know about the situation, I think, is just classless.”
But who’s more to blame here: Kidd or Milwaukee’s new ownership?
“I think it’s the new ownership, but everything that has a cause, has an effect,” Greene said. “When you bring in a guy like Jabari Parker – who, I’ve never seen someone so excited to go to Milwaukee before. Think about it. He’s talking about being a Buck for life, and within a week – within a few days – you’re taking pictures with Larry Drew with your draft hat on, and all of a sudden this goes on in the media and Jason Kidd comes in. How do you think that resonates within (Parker), how ownership may work in the future? Of course, he’s not thinking about it right now because he’s in the honeymoon stage, but that karma cycle could come back around.”
And it could come back around for Kidd, especially if things go sour in Milwaukee.
“I think he’s burned a lot of bridges,” Greene said. “It’s going to be tough for him to really find something else if things don’t work out with the Bucks.”