As the Brooklyn Nets canvas the league for trade partners, rival executives are really questioning the value of Kyrie Irving, who is about to be shipped to his fourth team in six years.
It was Irving's decisions that led to his team's epic collapse in the playoffs, and his reputation took an all-time hit.
But is Kyrie really the dysfunctional face that fans are making him out to be, or is he just another misunderstood athlete? In a chat with Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Bally Sports, Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy dropped a truth bomb on Uncle Drew and how there's more to him than meets the eye.
“Ky is one of those dudes that is very private. He’s very private and his circle is very small and he’s not a guy that really extends himself a lot to people that he doesn’t know. Kind of like Kawhi,” Handy said. “Until you actually get to know Kyrie, you’re going to get a lot of speculation. He’s going to say some stuff and certain things, but people don’t understand maybe what’s the context behind it or where he’s coming from. So, I always say a lot of times athletes, in general, are just in the spotlight where you just hear sound bites or you might see this or hear this, but people don’t really know the kid. And so, until you actually get to know Kyrie, I tell people all the time that if you don’t know someone, you probably shouldn’t speak on him.”
Handy made that statement months ago, but it doesn't make it any less true today. Clearly, the Nets are frustrated and angry with Irving for the chaos he has caused. Considering where they stand now, the Nets have every right to feel that way.
When it comes to Irving, however, the truth is actually much more complicated and maybe a little bit less cut and dry than the Nets would have you believe. Just like Kawhi Leonard in Los Angeles, Kyrie doesn't open up to just anyone -- and that's perfectly okay.