Stephen A. Smith slams Kyrie Irving’s trade request as ‘IDIOTIC’… and says suitors will hesitate

ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith has criticized Kyrie Irving’s stunning trade request as ‘idiotic,’ and insisted Friday that the All-Star guard ‘cannot be trusted.’

Irving is in the last year of a four-year contract, and has been unable thus far to agree to another long-term pact with the team.

And while his request may well get him out of Brooklyn, Irving has threatened to blow up a promising Brooklyn season – and is hurting his own value too by Smith’s telling.

 ‘Obviously the situation that he got himself in earlier this year was unfortunate, but he resurrected himself from that, was playing spectacular basketball, leading vote getter among the guards for the all star game… and reminding everyone what an absolute flat-out superstar basketball player he is. 

‘No one questioned that, all we ever questioned was: can the man go the rest of the season without being any kind of distraction, if he’s gonna have a chance to get his money. And lo and behold he pulls this.

‘And why? Because the Brooklyn Nets had the temerity, the unmitigated gall to say, ‘play the season, we’ll see. because we haven’t had you for a full season without any drama.’ 

Kyrie Irving has requested a trade from the Nets with the deadline fast approaching

Stephen A. Smith called Irving's move to request a trade 'idiotic' and said he 'can't be trusted'

Stephen A. Smith called Irving’s move to request a trade ‘idiotic’ and said he ‘can’t be trusted’

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Nets offered an extension to Irving within the last week, but the deal had stipulations surrounding the guarantees of the  final year of the contract.

Charania also said that Irving had ‘principle differences’ with the franchise and is set on leaving either now or in free agency in the summer.

However, Chris Haynes of TNT and Bleacher Report reported the team ‘presented an offer that was tied to team winning a championship,’ and that the issue was not about money. 

Whatever the reasons for the request it came as a surprise to fans – and his teammates, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Nets are a healthy 31-20 – good for fourth in the Eastern Conference – and were on the heels of the first-seeded Celtics before Kevin Durant went down with a sprained MCL on January 8.

With a healthy Durant alongside Irving, the team won 12 straight games in December, and took 18 of 20 as well. 

If Irving does get traded, the Lakers, Mavericks and Suns are considered the frontrunners to potentially land Irving, as Charania, Marc Stein and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

This is far from the Nets’ first example of turbulence with the highly-talented scorer.

Kyrie Irving scored 26 points Monday vs. the Lakers as the Nets won 121-104 in Brooklyn

Kyrie Irving scored 26 points Monday vs. the Lakers as the Nets won 121-104 in Brooklyn

Kevin Durant has not played since January 8 after spraining his MCL vs. the Heat

Kevin Durant has not played since January 8 after spraining his MCL vs. the Heat

This past offseason, Irving asked for and was granted permission to seek a sign-and-trade, though he eventually reneged and returned to the Nets.

He chose to remain in Brooklyn, opting in to the final year of his four-year max deal last June after no teams stepped up to trade for him.

Irving also refused to get the Covid-19 vaccine during the 2020-21 season which forced him out of the lineup for home games until New York mayor Eric Adams altered the city’s laws.

And earlier this season, he faced backlash (and was suspended) for tweeting a link to an ‘anti-Semitic’ film.

Irving initially refused to apologize or back down over the tweet before Brooklyn suspended him for eight games and he eventually issued an apology for sharing the 2018 documentary, which was based on a book described as ‘venomously anti-Semitic.’

Irving has missed nearly as many games as he’s played for Brooklyn, partaking in 156 of a possible 297.

He’s having a spectacular season, averaging 27.1 points and leading the league in fourth quarter scoring, but his latest actions will surely distract from his on-court performance.

‘The fact that he’s made headlines with this, all it did was serve to remind everybody out there: he’s spectacular, we’d love to have him in our uniform, so long as we don’t have to make a long term investment in him,’ Smith said.

‘Because he cannot be trusted. He just reminded the basketball world of that.”