Irving, cars parked on parking lot during daytime

We hardly knew you, Kevin

Dear Kevin:

I hope you are well. I hope your rehab from a knee injury is going well so you can get back on the court and make your Phoenix Suns debut as soon as you can with the Suns having 24 regular season games left. The game needs you since it’s great when you display your talent.

Hopefully, you will be happy in the Valley after you orchestrated your departure from the Brooklyn Nets that had you go to the Phoenix Suns.

I know you were not happy in Brooklyn. You join a long list of former Nets such as Stephon Marbury, Jason Kidd, Alonzo Mourning, Chris Morris, Derrick Coleman, Kenny Anderson, Kendall Gill and others that hated playing for them after you thought you would find happiness.

You failed to integrate with the community in Brooklyn, were boorish with the media most of the time. You also only spent time with Kyrie Irving and never rooted your teammates on. You were just aloof and unlikeable. You played like you did not enjoy playing in the NBA.

For Pete’s sake, at least Kyrie gave a damn, even when he skipped games. He was engaged when he wanted to. He cared about his teammates. He always acknowledged the fans. He took the time to sign autographs.

We can go rip Kyrie’s flaws all we want, but he was a much better person than you. He was likable in his good days.

You were a jerk quite frankly. There was nothing likable about you. It’s why no one embraced you here. It’s why the media in town never really covered you and your team as much as you wanted.

You deserved most of the blame for why the "superteam" failed here. You brought Irving and James Harden here, and they flopped here. You and Irving only played 74 games, and you two only gave us that one playoff series win against the overmatched Celtics at the time. For all the nonsense you created here, Nets owner Joe Tsai deserved better than what he had to put up with.

Not that no one should feel sorry for Tsai because he made money out of this failed superteam. He should have known better than to sign you, Irving and Harden. He knew Irving was a problem child, yet had to sign him just to get your service.

So, it’s your fault everything went bad. You and Irving paired up to work for the Nets. Instead, you two created problems that the Nets fans did not deserve.

You enabled Irving to behave this way and should have put him in his place when he was acting up. You should have told him to be vaccinated. If you do that, maybe Harden stays rather than be traded because your teammate did not want to be vaccinated. You should have kept Irving under control. It’s what the Nets paid you to do, and you failed them. You are the one that wanted Irving here, so you should have been his babysitter, even if your job description never officially told you that. Management and ownership depended on you to make this work.

It makes me wonder how much you really wanted to make this work. If you had some pride, you would have had Harden, Irving and you are on the same page in accomplishing what’s best for the common good, which was winning games and winning a championship. If you really cared about being a Brooklyn Net and took pride in being one, this would not happen.

You did not want this to be your problem when in reality, it was yours since you created this superteam. When the going got tough, you were nowhere to be found. You whined like a loser. Truth be told, you couldn’t handle the pressure of playing in New York. It wasn’t for you. That’s okay. It happens to everyone.

I am disappointed you bailed on the Nets as soon as they traded your buddy to the Dallas Mavericks. You should have stayed and stuck it out.

In a way, I am relieved you are gone. The Nets are likable and entertaining with Cam Thomas, Spencer Dinwiddie and Royce O’Neale, New Yorkers love rooting for homegrown players, not mercenaries. We love rooting for the underdog. We love rooting for guys who care. We also like watching ball movement instead of the iso-basketball that we saw out of you and Kyrie. Yeah, you brought the Nets to relevance nationally at least, but you also caused so much misery.

Your legacy with the Nets has been a failure. There’s no denying that. You will be remembered for quitting on the Nets and having the superteam blow up on you.

Maybe things end differently if your shot counted as a three-pointer that would have beaten the eventual NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks in Game seven of the 2021 Eastern Conference Semifinals. We will never know. This was as good as it got for you, Kyrie and Big Game James.

Since then, it went downhill with Irving not wanting to be vaccinated which ended Harden’s tenure here and ruined the whole season.

When I remember you, I will remember you for being a jerk here and ending us with Ben Simmons, a useless and injury-prone player who has no business on the Nets roster.

There are no hard feelings after you left us behind.

Just don’t let the door hit you on your way out, Kevin.

You can read Leslie's Jersey Sporting News columns on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.

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