Column: If the Nets win it all, what impact does that have on the NBA?


What if?

What if the Nets win the NBA Championship?

As a No. 7 seed whose best players haven’t played together for most of the season. Think about it. 

James Harden came and went. Newly acquired Ben Simmons still hasn’t played. Kyrie Irving has missed most of the season due to his vaccine stance.

What would it say about the NBA if the Nets win it all when Kyrie basically sat out all season long?

The vaccine situation was a unique one in which Irving stood his ground and ultimately won. He played in just 29 games, but this past week led the Nets with a 30-point, 10 assist performance in the play-in tournament against the Cavs to clinch the No. 7 seed.  

Next up for the Nets: A date against Irving’s former team, the Celtics in Sunday’s playoff opener.

We have no idea how Irving, Durant and Simmons would jell because Simmons hasn’t played since last season. This isn’t just a team trying to get hot at the right time. 

The Nets are a team that basically said “forget the regular season, we’ll roll the dice come playoff time.” But while the Nets are underdogs, they’re the team nobody wants to play.  

Durant is arguably the best player in the world and Irving is a top-five player when he’s on his game — or playing at all.

Their talents are undeniable. And yet I can’t help but wonder what the impact a Nets championship would have on the NBA.

Sure we’ve all gotten used to the “load management” days modern NBA superstars have, but the Nets just crashed the party before midnight and are looking to take home all the gold.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver would never admit it, but I don’t think he wants a Nets championship. How could he? 

Would that be better than a Suns team which lost in the Finals last year and fought all season long to get back to the mountaintop?

Would it be better than a Celtics team that has gotten better and better throughout the season and actually, wait for it, PLAYED TOGETHER?

The Nets will be a fun watch and a very tough out. But a Nets championship could redefine how future teams and players attack the regular season.

Top: Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving reacts after sinking a basket during the second half of the opening basketball game of the NBA play-in tournament against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Tuesday, April 12, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)