Around the Association: No One Likes the Nets, Fit Zion is Back in NOLA, Westbrook Doesn’t Care, More

With media day in the books and training camps opening up, the 2022-23 season is right around the corner!

“Not Many” Options for Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving was back behind a microphone *shudders* during the Brooklyn Nets media day on Tuesday. When asked just how close he was to being traded this summer, Irving said that “there were options … but not many, I’ll tell you that.”

Well, that’s just a major shocker that “not many” teams would want to acquire a player who has an extensive history of commitment issues and an undeniable me-first attitude.

Irving went on to imply that “the stigma, whether or not I want to play, whether or not I’m going to be committed to the team … which I thought was really unfair, at times …” was the reason for the lack of options this summer. I mean, he got it half right. There is a stigma surrounding him. But to call it unfair is just Kyrie being tone-deaf, a recurring trend for him.

Speaking of players with stigmas of terrible teammates attached to them, Ben Simmons was in a Nets uniform at media day this week, which is once more than he wore one for the either the Nets or the Sixers last season.

Simmons was asked how many threes he’ll take this season, to which he replied, “sh*t, who knows?” with a chuckle.

This has to be the most unlikable team in the NBA. No, the history of the NBA. It’s an assembled cast of walking meme players who seemingly care about nothing but themselves. Kevin Durant, who hijacked the open of the NBA free agency period with his trade demand, was asked if he was surprised that he was still a Brooklyn Net.

Durant had the most Durant like response:

“No. I know I’m that good that you’re not just going to give me away … I get that; I know who I am.”

Alright, man. Again, the least likable team in the NBA. I wish them nothing but the worst this season.

Fit Zion is Back in NOLA

After missing the entire 2021-22 season with a foot injury and often the subject of NBA punchlines thanks to some unflattering photos of him looking like he was, well, us, Zion Williamson showed up to the New Orleans Pelicans’ media day looking jacked.

When asked how he’s feeling, Zion Williamson said with a smile that he’s feeling his best right now: “I feel like I’m at my best right now.” Zion said. “Moving faster, jumping higher, I feel great.”

Williamson joked about feeling different in the gym, realizing he can do different things when healthy and in shape. Zion said he learned some things about nutrition and workout habits this summer.

A healthy Zion makes the Pelicans an exciting team to watch in the Western Conference this season after New Orleans made it to the play-in tournament and took the Phoenix Suns six games in the opening round of the NBA Playoffs without Williamson.

No Guarantees for Russell Westbrook This Season

After a summer of trade talks that went nowhere, with no one in the NBA looking to take on Westbrook’s massive contract in exchange for his diminished play, Westbrook was asked on media day whether he felt he was wanted in Los Angeles.

Westbrook said that he’s not concerned with whether or not the Lakers want him in LA this season; he’s just focused on doing his job, even if that job involves him coming off the bench.

“I don’t need to,” Westbrook told ESPN. “I need to just do my job. Whether I’m wanted or not doesn’t really matter. I think the most important thing is that I show up for work and I do the job like I’ve always done it: Be professional and go out and play my ass off and compete.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has more on Westbrook and his feelings on the 2022-23 season:

And Ones

  • After a summer of trade talks after the Suns matched the Indiana Pacers offer sheet, Deandre Ayton sounds, uh, less than thrilled to be in Phoenix right about now.
  • Well, except for the zeros on the paycheck …
  • Boston Celtics big man Robert Williams III says that recurring problems with his knee prompted surgery this summer. Williams was plagued by knee issues throughout the end of the season and the NBA Playoffs but played through them down the stretch.
  • Lakers GM Rob Pelinka says that the Lakers will be selective with their draft picks in any trades and reaffirmed their commitment to LeBron James:
  • Speaking of LeBron, he only needs 97 more assists to pass Magic Johnson on the all-time assists ladder. If he can replicate his 6.2 APG pace from last season, it should take him about 15-16 games to pass Magic.
  • Well … that’s … a look, I suppose.
  • This Lonzo Ball thing is getting to be brutal. Hopefully, this surgery does the trick, and he’s back in action and healthy before we know it.
  • written by

    Patrick grew up in Chicago's Bridgeport and Garfield Ridge neighborhoods before moving to the Western Suburbs of Chicago before eventually relocating to the Las Vegas area with his family in 2023. He started with Bleacher Nation in 2021 and has spent time as a Staff Writer and on the Chicago Blackhawks beat. He is currently a writer and editor at Bleacher Nation covering the Chicago Bears and the NFL at large and the author of the Bleacher Nation Newsletter. Patrick is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).

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