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#pounditWednesday, August 17, 2022

Report: Kyrie Irving had disrespectful act after Steve Nash practices

Kyrie Irving looks on during a game

Mar 15, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets are said to be torn on whether they should sign Kyrie Irving to a long-term extension, and the star point guard’s relationship with head coach Steve Nash may have something to do with that.

Stephen A. Smith said on ESPN’s “First Take” Monday that there were times last season when Irving undermined Nash, whether he intended to or not. Irving reportedly sometimes held his own practices with Nets teammates after their regular practices ended. Smith viewed that as a sign of disrespect.

“Did you know that this brother Kyrie Irving last season would conduct his own practices?” Smith said, via Bleacher Report’s Timothy Rapp. “So when Steve Nash had the team on the floor, and they practiced, they would finish and he’d go and get five guys and conduct his own practice. … Do you have any idea how disrespectful that is to Steve Nash? He conducted his own practices after Steve Nash conducted a practice. I mean, he’s driving him crazy.”

The context of Irving’s players-only practices would be important. If he was holding his own workouts because he felt Nash’s were ineffective, that is a huge problem. On the flip side, it’s possible Irving was just trying to be a leader and put in extra work with his teammates. Smith obviously got the impression it was the former.

Irving has until June 29 to decide if he wants to exercise his $36.9 million player option for next season. Teams around the NBA reportedly believe there is a chance he could leave Brooklyn. Irving had a cryptic response on Twitter after the latest batch of rumors about him surfaced.

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