Kyrie Irving has a talent for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time without being prompted. He hasn’t played much this season, only 15 games. With such a small sample size and on a new team, the timing was all wrong to pretend he’s the GM and go specific with what is wrong with the Nets.
What is wrong with the Nets is that Kyrie is limited and D’Angelo Russell is gone. There just aren’t enough play makers. The Nets got rid of a few of last year’s pieces to fit two max contracts in and are paying the price.
First there is a team chemistry issue. Everyone has to feel inspired and part of the process during this throwaway season. Kyrie didn’t help that with his poorly constructed comments. By mistakenly or on purpose excluding Jared Allen from his list of Nets “core” he created an imbalance, regardless of what he meant. We aren’t mind readers and can’t deconstruct what he wanted to say but didn’t. We hear what we hear.
Jared Allen was left off his list so does that mean he is trade bait, that Kyrie doesn’t think he matters? He left Joe Harris off his list too who is only shooting 41% from three, the best on the Nets. At only $7 mil and a free agent and what feels like a Kyrie diss, expect the Nets to have the phone ring with offers for Harris.
Abraham Lincoln’s it’s better to be thought a fool than to open you mouth and remove all doubt should be tattooed across Irving’s forehead.
Irving was doing his usually speak before you think thing. But there are always consequences when you insist on squeezing a round peg into a square hole. Take the All-Star game.
In the old days of All-Star voting, it wouldn’t matter. It was a popularity contest and Kyrie would have won the popular vote. But now voting is an electoral college kind of thing. It’s not just the popularity vote anymore. The media and players vote.
Kyrie is only, upon last returns, 16,000 votes ahead of Kemba Walker. The media has to weigh in. Who do you think they’ll vote for: Kyrie or Kemba? Who is having a better season? Who is more likeable? Particularly after Kyrie slams the media for whatever he is in his feelings about and Kemba is always gracious, respectful and cooperative. What about NBA players who just heard Kyrie disenfranchise two teammates who are instrumental to the Nets this season? It doesn’t exactly make you beloved.
Which of course is the Kyrie Irving story. He’s the guard version of Dwight Howard. No one misses him when he leaves. He has a hard time making friends and the fans don’t run apologies on his behalf because he finds ways to make them feel angry too. Kyrie is complicated but who has the patience to try to figure him out? Who cares enough?
This season has been a Kyrie Irving nightmare. It was supposed to be the opposite. Most thought it would be Kyrie pulling the Nets upward and onward. Last season, they were a surprise young team that had fun and thrived off of good chemistry. They all fit.
But with two max stars, one healing and the other in and out the lineup, one moody on social media and the other moody on the court and in the locker room, the Nets are a disappointment.
Kyrie is not. He is who we think he is. Inconsistent. Thoughtless. Brooding.