Caris LeVert of the Brooklyn Nets is the latest to defend Kyrie Irving against the narrative that has been placed on him.
Earlier this week, Boston Celtics’ All-Defensive First Team recipient, Marcus Smart, went on ESPN’s The Jump and did exactly what he does best: played defense. That defense was of a former teammate who’s now a member of the Brooklyn Nets, Kyrie Irving.
Smart acknowledged the various shortcomings of the Boston Celtics in the 2018/19 season; the team went into the regular season with aspirations of hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy, that obviously never came into fruition. Boston was dysfunctional last year, and Smart eloquently pointed out that shouldn’t fall on the shoulders of one man, but everyone collectively.
“I mean, let’s call a spade a spade, right? It’s true, we were dysfunctional.” Smart indicated. He’d go on further explaining how every individual in that locker room could have stepped up to help reverse their issues. “We all took part in that, we all could’ve done something better to help that team.
When asked directly about Kyrie Irving, he mentioned how he made not have performed to his usual standards but had nothing but great things to say about him as a teammate. He’s not the only member of the Celtics organization to defend Kyrie as an individual, the team’s owner, Wyc Grousbeck, has been in contact with Irving recently and shed light on his character.
Now, I’m not condoning or defending his behavior throughout the last ten months, he’s gone about certain issues the wrong way, one can only hope that moving forward he learns from previous mistakes. But he’s also in a place he considers home, he’s in the right mindset, so chances are, he’s ready to put his past behind him.
Caris LeVert, a new teammate of Kyrie Irving, went on The Jump on Wednesday and essentially continued where Marcus Smart and Grousbeck left off. I mean, it wasn’t exactly like he was going to go on a national platform and undermine Irving’s ability as a teammate, but he helped put into perspective Irving’s efforts to alter the narrative put on him.
“I’ve talked to him a lot, the past couple of days, the week, and honestly—he’s a great teammate. He’s a great person to be around, very competitive, very knowledgeable of the game and I can’t wait to keep building that relationship with him, on and off the court.”
LeVert continued when asked if Kyrie Irving had been organizing the offseason workouts.
“He has, he has been organizing the workouts. We’ve been out here—kinda as a team—we got like 7 or 8 guys out here working out, in L.A, it’s been fun, been competitive and like I said he’s a great guy to be around. We can’t wait to keep growing that relationship.”
It’ll be imperative to have a locker room that is working in harmony to achieve the same goal next season, and a huge factor in that will be Irving’s ability to build strong relationships with his new teammates. Joe Harris has gone on record stating how he thinks Irving is misunderstood and a good teammate, Smart admired his time spent with the 27-year-old, Grousbeck spoke well of his character, and now Caris LeVert has touched base on how he’s a great guy to be around (amongst others).
We’ve heard those closest to him speak well of his character. However, Nets fans are going to be hearing of this narrative a lot more during the course of an 82-game season, so buckle up.