Kyrie Irving may have wanted the media to “stop distracting me and my team,” but his choice of a press boycott and statements has led to a distraction for Brooklyn, one coach Steve Nash has had to deal with.
Nash was asked Saturday if he had spoken to Irving about his media boycott, but Nash said he’s been too busy learning his new job to delve into that — and then he had Irving’s back. Via Net Income and Chris Milholen at Nets Daily:
“I haven’t addressed it with him,” Nash said… “He’s been unbelievable in camp. He’s been playing at an extremely high level. He’s been a leader.
“While he may not be in your guy’s good books, he’s in my good books so I am enjoying coaching him. He’s been unbelievable but if he sees my thoughts or wants to discuss it, I am more than happy to discuss it with him. I have not had that conversation with him.”
The locker room politics in Brooklyn will be something to watch: Is this a Kevin Durant team, a Kyrie Irving team, or is there some power balance between them? How does Nash negotiate this, especially when it comes time to push his stars? Directly challenging Irving on the media matter is not how he wins over a player he needs to be healthy and back at an elite level to compete for a title. Nash has the right demeanor for this job.
Irving’s name still hangs around in James Harden trade talks — Houston reportedly wants Irving (or Durant) in any trade for The Beard (Caris LeVert as the biggest name in a trade package doesn’t work for the Rockets). The sense around the league is Irving and Durant came to Brooklyn as a package and can’t be split up, that the Nets want to add Harden to their superstars. But if things don’t go well the first half of the season in Brooklyn… just something to keep an eye on.