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Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets has been in the headlines many times during his career. Irving is no stranger to the media, from his split with LeBron James to his turmoil with the Boston Celtics, and even his violation of the league’s health and safety standards with the Brooklyn Nets in 2020-21. Irving, on the other hand, was recently chastised by a Hall of Famer for something he said 11 months ago.
Gary Payton was the Hall of Fame player, and it seems that Irving’s 2020 remarks about the Nets’ head coaching job irritated him.
Kyrie Irving said that he does not consider the Nets to have a head coach.
Irving spoke on teammate Kevin Durant’s podcast, The Etcs, approximately a month after the Nets signed Steve Nash as their head coach, and made some contentious remarks regarding the team’s coaching stance during the 2020 NBA Finals.
According to ESPN, Irving said, “I don’t see us having a head coach.” “Somedays, KD might be a head coach, and somedays, I could be a head coach.”
Irving then took back his remark after participating in training camp.
According to ESPN, he remarked, “Steve has been great.” “He has a way of commanding respect. I believe I ought to retract my remarks against the head coach from a few months ago. But it’s just like, dude, we’ve got such a good chemistry. Everyone seems to be teaching one other to be better, which I appreciate.”
Gary Payton, on the other hand, was recently asked about Irving’s initial remark, and he took issue with it.
Gary Payton chastised the Nets’ top player.
The Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving during a game against the Denver Nuggets on Nov. 14, 2019. | Getty Images/AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post
Payton understands what it takes to be a successful point guard. He was named to the All-Star and All-Defensive Teams nine times throughout his career, and he was named Defensive Player of the Year in 1995-96. Payton is currently a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, having amassed 8,966 assists and 2,455 steals in his career.
Despite the fact that he no longer plays, the former SuperSonics player has strong views about what’s going on in the league, and when questioned about Irving’s 2020 remark on David Samson’s show, Nothing Personal, he took problem with it.
It’s worth mentioning that when Samson brought up Irving’s remark, he paraphrased it. However, it’s conceivable Payton heard what Irving said around the time Durant’s podcast was released.
On the Aug. 27 show, Payton stated, “It shouldn’t be spoken; that shouldn’t be said.” “I believe he made a mistake with that remark. Coaches should be respected. You should respect the men who have been placed in positions of authority. If you were a superstar and you came to me and performed on the floor and did the things you were expected to do on the floor, I’d include you in on everything I’m doing anyhow because I want to keep you happy and keep our team happy.”
Payton went on to say that he is familiar with Nash. Before making those remarks, he believes he would have been receptive to whatever Irving had to say.
“It’s sort of far-fetched to simply blow him up on Day 1,” Payton said. “It was improbable. Kyrie, on the other hand, is that guy. He’s an opponent.”
Whether you’re a big Irving supporter or a massive Irving hater, it’s fair to infer that he shouldn’t have made that remark after his club had just acquired a new coach, even if it wasn’t all that awful.
Overall, it seems that they got through it, since the Nets had a very successful season in 2020-21.
Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets are destined for greatness.
Due to injuries, it seemed like Kyrie Irving and the other members of the Big Three seldom played together for the Nets in 2020-21, and this trend continued in the playoffs. Nonetheless, he had a good year, and Brooklyn was one of the league’s top teams.
Except for the 2019-20 season, when he only participated in 20 games, Irving averaged 26.9 points per game last season, which was a career best. He also averaged 6.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting 50.6 percent from the floor, which was a career high.
Irving’s performance helped the Nets earn the second seed in the Eastern Conference, and they seemed to be on their way to a long playoff run. However, injuries to him and James Harden contributed to a seven-game defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The season may not have gone the way they intended, but the combination of Nash as head coach and the Big Three’s individual talents on the same team showed that the Nets are a force to be reckoned with, despite Irving’s previous remark.
The Nets have a bright future ahead of them, given that they will all be back in 2021-22.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
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