Kyrie Irving isn’t the only unhappy camper early this NBA season.
Irving, as you’ve likely heard, has missed the last week of games in wake of the Washington D.C. riots. But it’s unclear if last week’s events were the catalyst for his absence, especially after Irving was spotted partying during his time off.
Shannon Sharpe isn’t pleased with Irving’s latest antics, however. And the former NFL star let him have it during Wednesday’s episode of “Undefeated” on FS1.
“If I’m his teammates, I’m ticked off. If I’m the Nets, I’m even more ticked off,” Sharpe said. “Let me take that back — if I’m his teammates, I’m ticked off. The Nets shouldn’t be ticked off because they knew what they were getting. They knew he was moody. They knew he was mercurial. And they knew he had these bouts where, and people have said, Kyrie would be fine one day and then he’d go a month or two months without speaking to anybody. So, you knew exactly what you were getting.”
This, as Sharpe noted, is what some teams call “production intolerance.” Players that put up impressive numbers will impact the team’s tolerance for their behavior throughout the season, no matter the situation.
So, Sharpe offered a harsh answer to Irving’s situation.
“My thing is, Skip — and I’ve always said this — whatever Kyrie may or may not be dealing with, deal with it. Got no problem,” Sharpe said. “but just like he texts his teammates, or called his teammates and said he wasn’t showing up, he should have done that with the Nets. He should have done that with Steve Nash. He should have given Sean Marks that exact courtesy. But he already told Steve Nash what he thought of him when he said, ‘We don’t need a coach.’ The level of disrespect is already there on that behalf. … Kyrie Irving doesn’t view Nash as an equal, even though he won those MVPs. That was disrespectful for him to say that outright anyway.
“And then during the game, you want to call a teleconference about somebody running for the DA’s office? Really? Really? And everybody goes, ‘Oh man, he’s dealing with (stuff). OK? Deal with it.’
“The blatant level of disrespect that Kyrie Irving has shown for this teammates and for this organization, but I don’t even feel bad because the Nets were willing to sign off on this because it meant they were also getting Kevin Durant. I believe if they could have gotten Kevin Durant without Kyrie, they would have passed. But it was a package deal, Skip. When they say you get two-for-one and you can’t buy these items separately — you’ve got to buy both even though you only want one — and that’s what they had to do. They buy both items even though they only wanted one.
“Kyrie Irving, whatever he’s going through, I wish him the best. I hope everything is well. But there’s a level of disrespect that he’s displayed that’s very, very unprofessional. And he’s been that way. … I don’t know who’s fault it was, but it was somebody’s fault other than Kyrie’s in Boston. So, now he’s in Brooklyn, where he wants to be. Now I want to know who’s fault this is. Kyrie needs to deal with what he’s doing, but Kyrie needs to maintain a level of professionalism. Regardless of what you’re going through, you must be professional at all times because you’re in a professional environment.”
Time will tell how Irving responds on the court.