After a sour ending in Boston, it appears Kyrie Irving is starting off on the right foot with his new team.
Irving elected to sign with the Brooklyn Nets in free agency following a frustrating two-year stint with the Celtics. The star point guard’s play never was called into question during his time in Boston, but given his roller-coaster tenure, the jury still is out as to whether Irving is capable of leading a team.
The six-time All-Star will be tasked with these duties in his debut season in Brooklyn, as Kevin Durant likely will miss the entire campaign as he recovers from a ruptured Achilles. Despite the narrative surrounding Irving, Nets guard Caris LeVert doesn’t appear to have any concerns about Irving as a teammate.
“I mean, for me, I try not to listen to other people’s opinion of somebody,” LeVert said Wednesday on ESPN’s “The Jump. “I try to get an opinion off of myself. I’ve talked to him a lot the past couple of days, the week and honestly, he’s a great teammate. Great person to be around, very competitive, very knowledgeable about the game. I can’t wait to keep building that relationship with him on and off the court.”
Irving also has wasted little time setting the tone as a leader with his new team.
“He has been organizing workouts,” LeVert said. “We’ve been out here kind of as a team, like seven or eight guys out here working out in L.A. So it’s been fun, been competitive. Like I said, he’s a great guy to be around. We can’t wait to keep growing that relationship.”
Time will tell if Irving is a good fit with the Nets. Marcus Smart recently noted there were no personal problems among the Celtics last season, but for whatever reason, dysfunction reared its head on the court. So while LeVert has been encouraged by Irving’s actions this summer, success in the 2019-20 season is far from a guarantee.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images