Kyrie Irving tees off at ‘puppet masters’ as Ben Simmons faces career ‘crossroads’

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has unleashed a scathing response directed at the media’s coverage of his side’s crashing playoff series defeat as the post-mortem continues into the Nets’ humiliating loss.

The generational point guard was reflective in his post-match press conference about his place on the team after the game four loss to Boston, which set in stone a 4-0 series sweep.

Irving admitted his vaccination status posed a distraction to Brooklyn amid an unstable regular season which saw James Harden traded for Ben Simmons.

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He also talked about himself and fellow star Kevin Durant “managing the franchise together alongside [owner] Joe [Tsai] and Sean [Marks]”.

But the star was far from diplomatic when taking to Twitter to respond to the explosive reaction from various sections of the NBA media that took shots at Irving, Simmons and Durant in the aftermath of the dominant beatdown.

Without naming anyone specifically, Irving referred to the media as “puppet masters”.

“When I see my name or my brothers/sisters names getting spun through the media, I refer to all my research about who they are. Their job is to CONTROL PUBLIC PERCEPTION, all while profiting off discussing, discrediting, and disrespecting people’s lives for entertainment,” Irving posted.

“I send shots at the puppet masters, not the puppets. All puppets do is run around society, trying to gain popularity and state opinions. What a life! My name is worth billions to these media corporations. My brothers and sisters who deal with this know exactly what I mean.

“When you become free mentally and spiritually, there is not much this twisted/Racist society can surprise you with. My ancestors left behind all of the wisdom and truth for their agenda to be exposed. When you know exactly who they are, they can’t hide from their filth,” he continued.

“Alot (sic) of of these media corporations make their money by degrading BLACK/African/Indigenous community heroes. They thrive off of it, and then sell it back to us by having a hand selected person or group of people spark controversy about them for the world to see.

“Just watch all of the people who wake up everyday and report about people’s lives on TV and social media, and then profit off of them. Then they justify their jobs by saying they get paid to say how they feel. Lol Its like these people live in a fantasy.”

Question marks remain over the construction of the team for next season, with the Nets said to be in full support of Simmons’ comeback next year, although one leading reporter in the US believes the Australian, 25, is at a “crossroads” in his career.

“At this point, it’s all mental with Ben Simmons,” The Athletic’s Shams Charania said on ‘The Pat McAfee Show’.

“He’s got to get to the point this offseason – they have four, five months here, the Nets, Ben Simmons, people around Ben Simmons that care about him – to make sure that he gets on the right track. This is the most important offseason for Ben Simmons’ career. He’s at a crossroads of his career right now.”

Simmons is set to make over $49 million next season and told the team he faces a mental block to his return to the court. It was reported earlier this week he is not viewed as a “sympathetic figure” in the Nets’ locker room.

It’s unlikely the Nets would trade Simmons away because of the amount of capital they gave up to get him, without seeing him perform on the court. His trade value is probably at the lowest it has ever been, on both sides of the table according to the Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor.

“I spoke with a trusted source from a non-playoff team that was previously attracted to Simmons who told me they’re out on him,” O’Connor reported.

“We’re at the point we’d want to see him play first,” said the source.

“The Nets might feel the same before making a move. Sure, Simmons has major flaws. But he’s only 25, signed to a reasonable contract with three years remaining, and the last time we saw him he was one of the league’s best defenders.”

HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto also expressed some optimism over Simmons’ place in the team if they get a full offseason together. He said the Nets are “very confident” Simmons will return next season and that the franchise has “been supportive at every turn”.

“The Nets envision Simmons guarding the other team’s best player at any position, one through five,” Scotto said.

“On offence, he’ll have the ball in transition off rebounds. He’ll initiate the offence at times as a point guard.”

While the the physical traits are there for Simmons, it’s about tapping into the mental side to win, says The Athletic’s David Aldridge.

“If Ben is dealing with some stuff off the floor you cannot dismiss that, you have to be respectful of that,” Aldridge said.

“But the pursuit of a championship requires complete, total buy-in from everybody. We’ve all got to buy in.”

Simmons has $159 million and three years remaining on his current deal.

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