Kyrie Irving has already caused concern in Brooklyn with his mood swings. He can spend days in silence, not speak to anyone, just shut everything down. That behavior was labeled as one of the problems in Boston’s failure last season and it’s happening again with the Nets.
The Nets were very upset when the Jackie MacMullan story came out and were vehement in claiming the report was untrue. They have to do it to save face in front of Kyrie, but it fits with everything we know about Irving and when you come out so strongly…where there is smoke, there is fire. We got Kyrie’s response to it as well, and this one wasn’t even very meta, more philosophical:
“I’m not here to dispel anything. You (media) can continue to ask other people around me what they think about me. (Media) can continue to write about mood swings. Human beings have mood swings. You go home and you’re not happy with things. Or you’re mad at something or your happy, that’s a mood swing. 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. So I’m not here to dispel any perception. I’m just here to be myself.”
Richard Jefferson, Kyrie’s teammate from Cleveland came to his defense and tried to put a bit more perspective on this whole situation. Jefferson pointed out Kyrie was never in trouble in his life, that we’ve never had a story with “any extracurricular stuff with him.” (via The Jump)
“If the worse thing that comes with this player is his a bit moody or he goes through some things, I’m taking it a 100 times. It doesn’t mean Kyrie can’t improve, and he can’t work on getting better. One thing everyone knows, if you’re constantly searching for everyone’s validation and want everyone to like you, that is a bad place to be.”
I gotta call BS on both of them. When it comes to Kyrie’s “everyone has mood swings” – yes we do, that’s fine. But part of being a grown-up and a professional is showing up for work on your “bad days” and still treating your teammates and colleagues with respect. Speaking to them should be manageable on your “moody” days. Kyrie is right, he doesn’t have to be perfect – but taking your hat off for a team photo isn’t asking for perfection.
When it comes to Jefferson, I can understand he will defend his guy. Once again, no-one is expecting Kyrie to turn into Durant and ask for “everyone’s validation” all the time. But when you grow up and sign a 4-yr $136.49M contract, that paycheck comes with an expectation of a minimum standard of professionalism. I can’t believe this had to be said, but TALKING TO YOUR CO-WORKERS doesn’t fall under “I don’t care if everyone likes me.”
Here’s a simple way to determine if an NBA player is being a spoiled self-centered brat – would you tolerate such behavior from a 10-year-old?