The Brooklyn Nets were quick to rush to the defense of Kyrie Irving after an ESPN article stated his mood swings have some feeling “queasy.”
“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,” writes Jackie MacMullan of ESPN.
The story is about much more than the mood swings of Irving, but that was the line that seemed to garner the most attention, unsurprisingly.
However, after the article dropped, the Nets pushed back forcefully against the notion that Irving is making the organization “queasy.”
"That is completely false" – Kenny Atkinson on the Kyrie Irving report pic.twitter.com/VWWmLpSq09
— SNY (@SNYtv) October 29, 2019
“That is completely false, strictly speaking, in my observation and my experience with him so far it’s absolutely not true,” head coach Kenny Atkinson told reporters before turning the question back on himself. “I’m the moody one. I really am. I’m cranky and I have my ups and downs. If there’s just natural human behavior where guys are up and down that’s different, but from my perspective, I give Kyrie an A-plus for his consistency and his spirit.”
Atkinson wasn’t the only Net to rush to Irving’s defense. DeAndre Jordan responded as sarcastically as one would expect.
“What do you want me to say?” Jordan said via James Herbert of CBS Sports. “Kyrie’s a bad guy. He’s terrible. He’s moody. I don’t like to be around him. He’s horrible in the locker room. He’s a selfish player. I don’t like his haircut. I wear his shoes only because they’re comfortable and because he makes me. Is that good?”
Spencer Dinwiddie was also quick to back up the All-NBA point guard.
“I have actually spoken to him and guarded him more than I’d like,” Dinwiddie said. “So if he wants to take a break, like, that’s cool. We can not talk for three hours.”
The Nets knew exactly who they were signing when they inked Irving to a four-year deal this summer. He’s a different type of cat, but the Nets were confident they could make things work.
This is the first time since the start of the season where the Nets are being asked about the mindset of their mercurial point guard. The fact that everyone is on the same page—defending their star point guard—is a positive for Brooklyn.
Irving is averaging 37.7 points and 6.3 assists through his first three games with the Nets. Brooklyn will host the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday at the Barclays Center (7:30 p.m. ET).