Kyrie Irving was supposed to be the starting point guard of the N.B.A.’s next dynasty. He was going to use his superb ball-handling skills to dish passes to Kevin Durant and James Harden, and together this Big Three would turn the Nets into champions season after season for years to come.
Sure, Irving had suggested that the Earth was flat. But he had also delivered a championship to Cleveland alongside LeBron James, and he was a perennial All-Star. The Nets could stand a little quirkiness in pursuit of greatness.
The barring of Irving complicates what looked like a surefire path to the finals for the Nets and could set up a battle with the players’ union.