Yet Irving’s infamous mood swings, confirmed by his ex-teammates, which followed him from Cleveland to Boston to Brooklyn, are the unspoken concern that makes Nets officials queasy. When Irving lapses into these funks, he often shuts down, unwilling to communicate with the coaching staff, front office and sometimes, even his teammates.
There were endless conversations about basketball, including how LeBron James had orchestrated his own "friend group" in Miami with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh that yielded two titles. One of the final nights on the Silver Cloud, as Ky, KD and DJ clinked glasses, Jordan recalls Irving saying, "Hey, this would be cool to do for real." "I asked him, 'What you mean by that?'" Jordan says, "and Ky said, 'Let's all get on the same team and play together.'"
All three initially raised an eyebrow upon learning of Brooklyn's daily routine -- a two-hour time commitment that begins before practice even starts. Players receive a text informing them when their "table time" is scheduled. That includes 30 minutes with a massage therapist, physical therapist, or both, depending on what ails them that day. From there, players spend 30 minutes in the weight room, then move to the court for individual training. "Our whole setup can be a bit rigid," Atkinson says. "We're like a college program, in some ways. We have this car wash of very specific things with very specific people.
Durant says that for most NBA veterans, their training regimen is sacred. It's what reinforces their greatness, and their commitment. "It's going to have to be a give and take," Durant says. "At this point of our careers, we have routines. At the same time, I want to learn what they're about. We have to be willing to meet halfway."
Nets team sources say one such episode occurred during Brooklyn's trip to China, leaving everyone scratching their heads as to what precipitated it. There's hope that Durant will be able to coax his friend into a better frame of mind. But when presented with that scenario, KD says he will be hands off.
There has already been leeway to allow Irving to march to his own drum. The Nets are willing to look past moments like the photo shoot at the Pearl TV Tower in China, when Irving refused to remove his hat and instructed them to photoshop it out. They will focus more on the bigger issue of sharing the ball and maintaining good team chemistry.
Brian Lewis: Brook Lopez: "“I think it’s kind of natural. We’ve gotten a little complacent. Like I’ve been alluding to, it starts with me." #Nets
Losing can get to anyone. With the worst record in the league coming into New Year’s Eve, the Nets have done more losing than just about anybody. So it is not shocking frustrations mounted on the court during Friday’s game at Washington and in the locker room after yet another lopsided defeat. “It was in the locker room. We handled it. It’s important we all have respect for each other and also have the ability to hold each other accountable,’’ Brook Lopez said of the flared tempers, first reported by The Post. “It was just frustrating. It was emotional and a frustrating game, and guys were just venting. I don’t know what was necessarily correct or who said what, but the important thing is it happened.
“I don’t think conflict is bad. I’m not going to have a team meeting because a couple of guys were bickering. I’m a coach who embraces conflict. We have conflict in the video room, and we have brutal ones at times. “The fact they have conflict with each other, it’s not the end of the world. I’m glad they talked about it just like any family would when you get into an argument with your brother, sister or wife. Out of all that, it comes out that we can get better. Those moments of conflicts that can make you better.”
August 10, 2022 | 4:04 pm EDT Update
Victor Oladipo: Trust me I’m the same VO just a little wiser. Eventually the realization has to surface, that the players can’t always be the problem! Think about it. PG,VO,DS & more I love y’all pacer fans and miss y’all more. Don’t believe everything you read all that s**** is delusional.
The NBA received an A+ for racial hiring practices and a B+ for gender hiring practices, scoring an overall A as reported in the 2022 NBA Racial and Gender Report Card released Wednesday. All three scores were significant increases from the 2021 report card.
There was a positive trend for women at both the team and league office levels, as well. The NBA league office reached its highest percentage of women in professional staff roles in more than a decade with 43.4%. Both team vice president and team senior management categories saw increases as well, reaching 30% and 39%, respectively. Room to grow, but better.
Darvin Ham and Mike Brown, both African American coaches, were hired by the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings, respectively. As of the publication of the report card, there were 16 head coaches of color. The 15 Black head coaches surpassed the leagues’ 2011-12 record high of 14 Black or African American head coaches.
Rep. Ilhan Omar will face Republican Cicely Davis in November. Davis won the district’s Republican primary, amassing around 48 percent of the vote and defeated two challengers, one of them was former Gopher basketball star Royce White.
August 10, 2022 | 3:24 pm EDT Update
Now, the focus for Victor Oladipo is singular, the intent of his summer of sweat geared toward one reality. “That I’m one of the best players in the world. Period,” the 30-year-old veteran said. “I think that my injury has kind of built a misconception of who I am as a player.”