Stephen A Smith Thinks Kyrie Irving Should Only Get 1-Year Contracts Because He’s ‘One Of The Absolute Professionals At Missing Work’

While the Brooklyn Nets have not yet been eliminated from the 2022 playoffs, the team is 48 minutes away from getting swept. Following Saturday night’s home loss to the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn finds itself in an 0-3 hole, and it’s very hard to imagine a scenario where they can correct all the things that have gone wrong so far and get to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Kyrie Irving struggled in Game 3, scoring 16 points on 6-for-17 shooting from the field with nine assists. After the game, Irving spoke to the media and mentioned that he believes the Celtics have simply had more time to come together as a team than the Nets.

Irving, of course, missed much of the season due to his decision to not get vaccinated against COVID-19, which led to him coming under a whole lot of criticism for saying there was nothing the Nets could do. One person who tore into Irving was Stephen A. Smith, who could not believe “the gall of that man” before bringing up his contract situation should he decline his player option for next season.

“Kyrie Irving is box office, this brother deserves $50 million a year,” Smith said. “I would never give him a long-term contract again. He cannot be trusted. You pay him one year at a time. I don’t care how much money he gets, but you give it to him one year at a time. You know why? Cause you gotta make sure he’s going to show up to work. This man has played more than 11 seasons in this NBA, he has played over 60 games four times, and there’s 82 games in a season. He is one of the absolute professionals at missing work, I’m not giving him a long-term deal. You’ve got to be crazy.”

Irving, who just turned 30, can pick up a $36.5 million player option this summer. He appeared in 29 regular season games this season and, to Smith’s point, has not appeared in more than 60 since 2018-19.