As of November 6th, the Brooklyn Nets are sporting a 3-4 record, good enough for the eighth seed in the NBA Eastern Conference. As the near .500 record might suggest, the early season has been filled with ups and downs. And when this is the case, things that would he mere whispers in winning situations, are booming voices in erratic situations.
Roughly a week or so ago, Jackie MacMullan delivered a piece concerning the Brooklyn Nets. More specifically, Kyrie Irving. It detailed a variety of different aspects. From how Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan, and Kevin Durant all decided they would play together to Kyrie Irving’s relationship with his new teammates. What was the main topic of conversation was the following excerpt from that piece:
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 quite 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.
Now, correct me if I’m wrong, this was no ordinary trip to China for NBA teams this Preseason. There was a lot of political weight and discomfort behind it, thanks in no small part to Houston Rockets GM, Daryl Morey. On top of this awkward and stress filled situation, Kyrie Irving had signed with childhood favorite team this offseason. I’m sure that was very emotional for him and probably only starting to truly sink in for him as he prepared to play actual games with teammates.
Perhaps him getting injured early on in the preseason helped contribute to a mix of complex emotions. And even more importantly, the anniversary of his grandfather’s passing was roughly two weeks away. I’m sure he had that on his mind as well. And we all should be well aware of what that caused for Kyrie Irving with the Boston Celtics. Not to say any of this is the case. I don’t want to put my thoughts of what could be the case in the same light as indisputable facts, but to call it a simple mood swing doesn’t seem fair to Kyrie Irving or his emotions. This is the same world that is constantly telling men to be more open with their emotions. With all that said, it was good to see so many people in his corner.
Brooklyn Nets coach, Kenny Atkinson, dispelled the reports adding on that Kyrie Irving has been an A+ as far as spirit. Fellow Brooklyn Net, DeAndre Jordan, went the sarcastic route where he jokingly said negative things about his friend almost as if to figuratively scoff at the report.
Even Stephen A. Smith went to bat for Kyrie Irving.
This guy is not just about basketball. There are other things that are affecting him, that’s clear. But to sit up there and act like that makes him a problem, is something that I have utterly ridiculous. He hasn’t been in Brooklyn for two damn weeks in the regular season. Two damn weeks and we talking about what kind of a problem…people are out there leaking stuff about him as if he’s a problematic dude… Just because folks don’t act the way you want them to act or doesn’t act the way everybody else wants them to act, does not make them a bad person or a problem.
I’m not sure if someone could have articulated any better. Well, outside of the man Kyrie Irving himself. Following the loss to the Indiana Pacers, Kyrie Irving said:
It’s ok to be human. I don’t have to be perfect for anyone here, nor do I have to be perfect for the public. I am not here to dispel any perception, I’m just here to be myself.
I think this shows such growth and acceptance of self with Kyrie Irving. This is a real showcasing of maturity from a man many did not believe was capable of leadership.