Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The Nets are reportedly experiencing Kyrie Irving's mood swings, according to ESPN's Jackie MacMullan. It's a part of his personality that has reportedly been brought up multiple times over his career.
MacMullan's story, which is a detailed look at Irving, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan's decision to sign with the Nets, is well worth your time. Important to note for context: the story also suggests that Irving and the Nets are largely on the same page at this point.
But it notes the following: "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. 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."
So given those off-court factors brought to light by the story, it's interesting to note that some in the Knicks organization weren't interested in signing Irving as a lone superstar over the summer. It's unknown if that opinion was unanimous, but some were concerned with how Irving -- if he came alone to The Garden -- would mesh with their young locker room.
The Knicks, of course, were interested in signing Irving and Kevin Durant together. It's unclear if that interest was reciprocated leading up to free agency.
Irving talked about the Knicks as a potential destination early in the 2018-19 season, and people with the Knicks expected to be able to talk to him during free agency. But nothing Irving has said suggests that he had strong interest in the Knicks leading up to free agency. Same goes for Durant. Irving, particularly, was locked in on Brooklyn in the weeks leading up to free agency.
One fact in the Nets' favor? Irving preferred a team with an established core and veterans, per sources. The Knicks, coming off a 17-win season, didn't meet that criteria.
Once they missed out on their top targets, New York signed several players to short-term deals and inked Julius Randle to a three-year contract.
The Knicks have started the season 1-3 and appear much further from contention than their cross-rival rivals. The Nets have Irving, a young core, and Durant waiting in the wings. But the factors reported in the ESPN story certainly raise interesting issues in Brooklyn.
The Nets have a strong culture. It appears it will be tested by Irving. But it's way too early to draw any conclusions about that factor -- or anything else about the Irving-Nets partnership.