Nets coach Kenny Atkinson shoots down report about Kyrie Irving’s mood swings
If Kyrie Irving has already given the Brooklyn Nets a glimpse of why he has a reputation for being a difficult personality to manage, his coach is not willing to admit it publicly.
On Tuesday, ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan published a lengthy feature in which she said some Nets officials are quietly concerned about Irving’s mood swings and the way he goes into “funks” where he becomes unwilling to communicate with the coaching staff and front office. When asked about that report, head coach Kenny Atkinson dismissed it as “completely false.”
There's an ESPN story out stating #Nets officials are concerned about Kyrie Irving's mood swings. Kenny Atkinson: "That is completely false in strictly speaking of my observation and my experience with him so far. It's absolutely not true. I say I'm the moody one." #NBA
— Brian Heyman (@bheyman99) October 29, 2019
Irving is said to have refused to take part in a two-day minicamp the Nets held over the summer that involved gathering biometric data on players. MacMullan said things got awkward when Irving simply said, “I’m not doing it.” There were also a couple of supposed incidents during the team’s trip to China when Irving seemed surprisingly irritated.
Many NBA superstars are difficult to manage, and that is certainly true of Irving. His talent is undeniable, but there’s a reason we hear unflattering stories about him that paint him as someone who can be uncooperative for no apparent reason. The Nets knew that when they signed him, and they will gladly put up with it if he helps the team succeed.