This past summer the Brooklyn Nets landed two of the biggest free agents on the market in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. It completely altered the trajectory of their franchise– and the Knicks– for the better, setting them on a path to suddenly contend for championships if KD is able to return fully healthy.
As has been noted with Kyrie in both of his previous stops in Cleveland and Boston, his mood swings can be a bit of a problem for the locker room, and front office dynamic.
According to ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, Irving’s “mood swings are the unspoken concern that makes Nets officials queasy.”
“When Irving lapses into these funks, he often shuts down, unwilling to communicate with the coaching staff, front office and sometimes, even his teammates. Nets team sources say one such episode occurred during Brooklyn’s trip to China, leaving everyone scratching their heads as to what precipitated it. There’s hope that Durant will be able to coax his friend into a better frame of mind.”
Nets players expressed plenty of support for Irving when asked by MacMullan.
Joe Harris was one of the first to assure the team would stand behind Kyrie to help, “I’m sure Kyrie will have some ‘days’ and so will we, as long as the accountability is in place, we’ll all ride with it.”
A year ago, Kyrie called out his young Celtics teammates for not knowing or having what it takes to be a championship-level team. Following the comments he issued an apology for it, and said he “wanted to be the guy that led us to a change” and that he wanted to be the leader of the team.
The prospect of getting Kevin Durant is reportedly the only reason the Brooklyn Nets really wanted Kyrie Irving.
Durant and DeAndre Jordan were brought in not only to improve their chances at a championship, but they were also thought to be the support system that the volatile Irving needed to succeed.
Durant added his words of support and expressed how delicately he will handle Kyrie.
“I look at Kyrie as somebody who is an artist. You have to leave him alone. You know what he’ll bring to the table every night because he cares so much about the game. Now, it might not be how other people want him to care about it. He has his way of doing things. I respect who he is and what he does. He has all the intangibles you want in a teammate and a great player. So, how he gets to the point to be ready for 7:30 every night, I’m supporting him 100 percent.”
Kyrie Irving’s former teammate in Cleveland, J.R. Smith offered his thoughts on Instagram, saying “Damn Young Gawd already.”
Despite the incident that has already gone down while the team was in China, Kyrie has started the season on an absolute tear, averaging 37.7 points, 6.3 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game through the first three games. Unfortunately for him, the Nets are just 1-2 in those games.