Kyrie Irving is one of the best point guards in the NBA, but his track record for dysfunction stretches far and wide. Since his departure from the Cavaliers, his reputation took an ugly turn.
The most recent scandal involves the firing of Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, which Irving is said to have played a role in. Historically, it's his seventh coach in just nine seasons. But is Kyrie really the problem here, or are the moving pieces around him simply a product of his environments?
In an article by Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, he tries to explain the narrative of Kyrie being a "coach killer."
He's never played for a head coach longer than two seasons, including spending just a single year (or less) with Mike Brown and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2013-14 and 62 games under Atkinson now. With Vaughn tabbed as an interim, it likely means Irving will have his eighth head coach when he begins season No. 10 this fall.
With so many of Irving's coaches having been let go, one has to wonder what kind of role he plays in their departure. The truth is, many of Kyrie's first coaches were fired for reasons totally unrelated to the star guard.
Scott's Cavaliers got worse in his third season, prompting then-general manager Chris Grant to make a change. Hiring Brown back was a mistake, a move based on the relationship between Grant and Brown and the memories of past successes with James.
Blatt was hired to coach a young team led by Irving and Andrew Wiggins. But the return of James and the desperation to win a championship ultimately doomed the first-time NBA head coach's tenure in Cleveland. Again, not Irving's fault.
For both Tyronn Lue and Brad Stevens, he left both teams before either got fired. Atkinson's firing, meanwhile, involved more voices than just his.
The idea that Kyrie is a "coach killer" no doubt comes from his rather toxic tenure in Boston. There, he routinely called out his teammates, made a big show out of calling the earth flat, and left the franchise less than a year after he verbally committed to staying. It was a mess, to say the least.
Still, while his past may be full of concerning material, not all of the drama can be faulted to him alone.
With the Nets, he is trying to turn over a new leaf by changing much of the negativity about him. He wants to have fun and work with his friend, Kevin Durant, to bring unprecedented success to New York.
He does those things, and talks about his name will begin to change -- that much is guaranteed.