In the Nets’ Oct. 29 loss to the Pacers — one of the last games before Kyrie Irving was suspended — the All-Star guard didn’t just wave off the play called by then-coach Steve Nash. On 10 separate occasions, Nash called a specific play and the scout watched Irving do something entirely different.
That wasn’t simple creativity, something to be expected from the uniquely electrifying All-Star. No, it was double-digit defiance.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” the scout told The Post. “Nash would call something, and he’d run the opposite. I’ve never seen anything like that.”
Hey, maybe Irving had a better game plan. He did run his own practices last season, according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.
Another scout told The Post the Nets were “the most dysfunctional team I’ve seen.” The report also says Nets players “did whatever they wanted,” even if it conflicted with what Nash was trying to do as the coach.
Irving met with NBA commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday, one of the requirements for his reinstatement after his promotion of an antisemitic film and subsequent disgraceful behavior and disastrous failures to apologize. The Athletic’s Shams Charania — who has moonlighted as Irving’s unofficial press secretary in the past — reported it was a “productive and understanding visit.” Whatever that entails.
Irving will technically be in position to return when the Nets play the Lakers on Sunday in Los Angeles. The team said his suspension would be for at least five games when it was handed down. Irving has missed three so far and will not play against the Knicks on Wednesday or at the Clippers on Saturday. But it is unclear how much progress, if any, Irving has made on the rest of the requirements the Nets laid out for him to return to the team.
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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]