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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Kyrie Irving defends having mood swings: ‘I don’t have to be perfect’

Kyrie Irving

It took less than four months and a handful of games for Kyrie Irving to attract negative media attention as a member of the Brooklyn Nets, but the star point guard insists he remains as indifferent as ever about how the public perceives him.

Earlier in the week, ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan reported that there have already been moments when Nets officials expressed concern about Irving’s “infamous mood swings.” Irving initially refused to address the piece, but he decided to speak about it following Brooklyn’s loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night.

“I don’t have to be perfect for anyone here, nor do I have to be perfect for the public,” Irving said, per ESPN’s Malika Andrews. “I am not here to dispel any perception, I am here to be myself.

“Who cares what ESPN or anyone says? I love myself. I love my family. I love my friends. I love playing basketball.”

Andrews noted that it was difficult to follow what point Irving was trying to make while he spoke with reporters, which is something that become a common theme during his two seasons with the Boston Celtics. When discussing MacMullan’s story, he said it is “hilarious to me to watch it affect people emotionally.”

“It is just interesting to watch it unfold to see how it can affect everyone around you, yet no one asked me,” Irving said. “Until everyone said something about it. Then they watched it trickle in like a little wild fire, like, ‘Who is Kyrie now?'”

Like many NBA superstars, Irving has a reputation for being difficult to work with. We heard similar stories about him during his time in Boston, and the Nets obviously knew what they were getting when they signed him.

While the Nets have gotten off to a 1-3 start, Irving scored 28 points on Wednesday and is averaging an eye-popping 35.3 per game through the early stretch. With Kevin Durant not expected to play until next season, it would be hard to envision any drastic changes coming in Brooklyn this year. However, it is certainly noteworthy if the Nets’ brass is already getting annoyed with Irving.

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