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"We had hoped Kyrie would stay forever and lead us all the way. He's on maybe the best team in the league right now. And so that's that. And that change touched off a lot of stuff because he left, we weren't able to maybe recruit free agents from the same way. And, you know, a bit of a domino effect, but it is what it is. We went went for it with Kyrie. We had a good year with him. He tried hard and then he moved on."

"I don't view that deal as a mistake. I'll view other ones as a mistake, like Kendrick Perkins. Wish we hadn't done that, as I've said before...but I think going for Kyrie and then having a really good year with Kyrie and getting to the Conference Finals despite his injury was a pretty magical year. And I think that was a reasonable deal to do."

By Tony Massarotti, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Beware the man who fancies himself a leader, but the man who has no understanding of how to lead. Good leadership requires selflessness and sacrifice. It is not about taking credit.

Exhibit A: Kyrie Irving.

Poor Kyrie. He’s being dismissed again, and we all know how Kyrie responds when he is dismissed. He pouts. Kyrie resented the power wielded by LeBron James when both were in Cleveland, though, hypocritically, he wants to be as important as James. So he came to Boston and pledged his allegiance to the Celtics, then spun on his heels and effectively quit after Boston made a playoff run while he was sidelined with injury. The young guys just don’t understand, he told us. They’re immature.

And so this time, Kyrie engineered his own operation, recruiting Kevin Durant and signing with his favorite team as a child, the Nets. And he’s not happy now, either. Not long after Kyrie went AWOL for reasons only Kyrie understands, the Brooklyn Nets this week acquired the ballooning James Harden, adding fat to an escalating grease fire. How the Nets handle it is anybody’s guess.

Yesterday, Nets GM Sean Marks told reporters that he spoke with Irving and Durant and that both have “conviction” after the acquisition of Harden. At the same time, there are reports that Irving is prepared to sit out the entire `20-21 season, which seems to fly squarely in the face of “conviction.”

Know what I think? I think the Nets acquired Harden because they’re already sick of Kyrie and his petulance, his childish antics, his selfishness and his oversized ego. Reports have circulated that Kyrie has left the team for an assortment of reasons, from the social and political issues plaguing the country to his frustration over the hiring of Steve Nash as a coach. Whatever the real reasons, none of them of them are really an excuse for Kyrie walking out on his team, especially when he’s been attending family birthday parties in the midst of pandemic (without a mask) and popping up on Zoom calls for political candidates.

Meanwhile, he won’t speak with his coach. His relationship with Durant has grown, according to a report, “distant.” Everybody is sick of Kyrie except for, of course, Kyrie, who blames everyone else for the fact that no one understands him.

The truth?

Deep down, Kyrie Irving a a deeply insecure child who is not even close to understanding himself.

And until he does, the only thing he will ever lead is a life of unhappiness and unfulfillment.

You can hear Tony Massarotti weekdays from 2-6 p.m. EST on the Felger & Massarotti program. Follow him on Twitter @TonyMassarotti.