Will Kyrie Irving ruin the Brooklyn Nets’ culture or lead them to glory?

There is no arguing that Kyrie Irving has one of the meanest handles in the NBA, that much is well-known, and in the last summer he was all over the media. After a disappointing season with the Boston Celtics, which a lot of the media was quick to place some of the blame on the All-Star point guard, he became a free agent.

From Boston to Brooklyn

Signing with the Brooklyn Nets on a $141 million, four-year contract, Irving joined Kevin Durant, in a sign and trade with the Golden State Warriors, for D’Angelo Russell. This really changed the odds offered by online betting sites, such as, ComeOn! about the team reaching the playoffs.

The saga started when Irving claimed he would stay in Boston, if “they would have him”, and then proceeded to leave in free agency. This led to conversations of Kyrie being a bad fit for the style of play the Celtics were trying to play, as the point guard is ball dominant and an elite scorer. Not just that, Kyrie is as mercurial as he is dynamic on the court and that proved to be more than problematic for the young Celtics.

However, the Celtics had too much talent for him to succeed in that kind of environment. And after a 49-win season which ended in a second-round exit to the Milwaukee Bucks, losing 4-1, people were quick to place the blame on the point guard. So, how will he perform in Brooklyn?

A Season Without KD

After seeing Irving’s performance in Boston, his reputation as one of the league’s best took a hit and put into question whether  he could carry a franchise. Despite how much he wants this for his future, some players just aren’t suited to leading teams to the next level.

With Kevin Durant on the roster, he wouldn’t have to. Except KD is estimated to be recovering for the whole season, making the Nets Kyrie’s team during the 2019-20 season.

Looking back at the two seasons he played in Boston, you can see a pattern. His first season, he played 60 games and the team had a winning record of 55-27. Unfortunately, Irving got injured during the play-offs, and the team was still able to reach the Eastern Conference Finals, where they lost in seven to the Lebron James led Cleveland Cavaliers. Fast-forward to next season and Kyrie played 67 games, while only being able to lead the team to a 49-33 record and a second-round exit. And it would not be outlandish to say that the second season Irving Celtics had far more talent and potential than the first season Irving Celtics.

What does This Mean For the Nets?

Despite Kyrie Irving starting the season strong, with a 50-point performance on his debut, the team has a 4-7 record (at the time of writing) and are looking to be a fringe play-off contender at best. This is no real improvement compared to the 2018-19 season, despite bringing new talent to the team, surrounding the, for the most part, unchanged roster. It was thought Kyrie Irving would be an improvement on D’Angelo Russell. However, so far it does not look like this is the case.

Irving needs to look at his leadership skills and adjust his playing style to better suit the team. Because if he doesn’t the Nets will not be in a good position for the return of Kevin Durant. With KD’s return, Irving would become the second option on the team, and that does make the Nets dangerous.

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