The Kyrie Irving Saga
The NBA season has started, and all wheels are in motion. In the borough of Brooklyn, the Nets are off to a slow, but a competitive start. While the Nets were hoping controversy was in the rearview mirror, the Kyrie Irving saga takes another weird turn.
The Kyrie Irving Saga
ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan wrote reported the Nets front office was concerned about Irving’s moodiness. MacMullan recalled issues in Irving had in Boston while also hinting at potential problems in Brooklyn in her expertly written report. Three masterfully written sentences inadvertently served as the saga’s opening salvo. “Yet Irving’s infamous mood swings, confirmed by his ex-teammates, which followed him from Cleveland to Boston to Brooklyn, 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.” That was enough to send the basketball universe into a tailspin.
Kyrie Irving’s "mood swings" are an "unspoken concern that makes Brooklyn officials queasy."
Nets sources say an episode happened on their trip to China, leaving the team confused, per Jackie MacMullan pic.twitter.com/Yu0xd8JRNI
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 29, 2019
For the most part, the media reacted negatively towards Irving. NBA analyst and former Celtic Paul Pierce called Irving a “front runner.” On First Things First, Cris Carter openly questioned if “the juice is worth the squeeze?” Carter further stated, “Kyrie is a lot like Allen Iverson. He’s not going to take care of his body. He’s not going to spend any extra time getting ready to play that night”.
"Kyrie is a lot like Allen Iverson. He's not going to take care of his body. He's not going to spend any extra time getting ready to play that night. He's going on pure ability. But that will only carry you for so long." — @criscarter80 pic.twitter.com/xKRiRKBS1r
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) October 30, 2019
ESPN’s Stephen A Smith Sides with Irving
ESPN’s Stephen A Smith spoke on both corners of his mouth. “The fact of the matter is what does Kyrie Irving do exactly? What are people trying to say,” Smith said. “He goes to Boston. And quickly while he’s in Boston, it’s clear he is a different kind of personality,” Smith explained. “Does he get quiet? A bit introverted? Yes, he does. Does he find himself flummoxed a little bit or taken aback when things happen like the loss of his grandfather? Of course, he does. But to sit up there and to act like that makes him a problem is something I find utterly ridiculous.”
Finally, Smith got to the point. “He hasn’t been in Brooklyn for two damn weeks in a regular season. Two damn weeks. And we are talking about what kind of a problem, not talking about us, but people are out there leaking stuff about him as if he’s a problematic dude. And I’m going to get black with this. Just because folks don’t act the way you want them to act or don’t act they way everybody else wants them to act does not make them a bad person or a problem. It might make him an individual you have to adjust to.”
Kevin Durant Supports Kyrie
Injured superstar Kevin Durant joined Irving in Brooklyn. Though lost for the season Durant’s presence is evident in the Nets team framework. A fixture at practices, Durant has been a vocal supporter and cheerleader to his teammates at the Barclays Center. In the MacMullan article, Durant spoke on Irving. “I look at Kyrie as somebody who is an artist,” Durant says. “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.
Furthermore, Durant appeared on ESPN’s First Take and responded to questions about Irving’s behavior/mood. “As his teammate, I mean, there are no problems at all,” Durant passionately explained. “Absolutely none. He comes into work every day, works hard. Great teammate. Talks to everybody. He’s having a great time…. You guys don’t like him. It’s simple. He presents no problems.”
Other Teammates Added Their Input
Spencer Dinwiddie was asked about Kyrie Irving’s headscratching mood swings in China. (https://t.co/reECae8djS)
“Quite frankly, I think the head scratching incident happened from someone on the Rockets. It had nothing to do with us.”
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) October 29, 2019
Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie voiced his support of Irving. In the same MacMullan report, Dinwiddie spoke of Irving’s mood swings in China. “Quite frankly, I think the head-scratching incident happened from someone on the Rockets. It had nothing to do with us.”
Joe Harris of the Nets echoed similar sentiments. “I don’t think any of us plan on telling these guys how things are done,” Harris says. “You won’t find a ton of egos around here. Our thing is to play unselfish and play together. I’m sure Kyrie will have some ‘days’ and so will we. As long as accountability is in place, we’ll all ride with it.”