Report: Kyrie Irving resisted Nets' wearables, stopped communicating during China trip


How will Kyrie Irving handle leading the young Nets, who developed a strong culture before he arrived?

That's the big question for Brooklyn this season with Kevin Durant injured. This is Irving's team, for better or worse.

We've seen the passion and great play on the court. Behind the scenes, there has already been cause for concern.

Jackie MacMullan of ESPN:

Irving is totally reasonable to resist a wearable. Players should have major questions about how teams will use that collected data. Will it be properly secured? Will teams share it? Will it be held against players in contract negotiations? Will players have access to the data? Will players have ability to analyze the data in a way teams can at scale?

In MacMullan's piece, Nets general manager Sean Marks said the data will never be used against players. But file that under: What else is he supposed to say? Whether or not the data would be used against players, Marks would likely give the same answer.

To his credit, Marks didn't hold Irving's resistance against him. Marks said it was incumbent on the organization to earn Irving's trust, and that takes time.

As far as Irving's petulance, that's not ideal. But that's also part of the package of acquiring Irving. If the Nets want his incredible scoring, they must also deal with everything that comes with Irving as a person. It's difficult to build a championship-caliber team if limiting the pool of acceptable players to only those who never act like divas.

Yet, Irving's behavior in China raises questions about his mental health. When he stopped talking to Cavaliers teammates, that was attributed to him wanting to leave Cleveland. When he acted out with the Celtics, that was attributed to wanting to leave Boston.

But Irving wants to be in Brooklyn. He just chose the Nets and raves how much he enjoys playing near home.

If the Nets can't determine why he fell into a funk, maybe there are internal issues that need addressing.

I don't want to psychoanalyze Irving from afar. It's just that I'm not sure these "episodes" are being put into a proper context. Hopefully, Irving and people close to him help him find the happiness that sometimes seems to elude him.


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