Individually speaking, Kyrie Irving couldn’t have had a much better start to life with the Brooklyn Nets.
Signing in free agency after two years with the Boston Celtics, Irving has averaged 37.7 points per game through his first three outings as a Net, including 50 in the season opener against the Memphis Grizzlies.
With Kevin Durant likely out for the entire 2019-20 season, Irving will need to do plenty of the leg work necessary to earn the Nets a second-straight postseason appearance. But his sterling start hasn’t been enough to stop the Nets from going 1-2.
Even with his hot start, there is already uncertainty brewing around the six-time All-Star in Brooklyn.
ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan reported that Irving’s “infamous mood swings” are making Nets officials “queasy.”
These mood swings are episodes in which Irving “lapses into these funks, he often shuts down, unwilling to communicate with the coaching staff, front office and sometimes, even his teammates.”
It’s reportedly happened everywhere he’s been while in the pros.
Per MacMullan, one such instance has already happened with the Nets while the team was in China during the preseason.
The report gave the Boston media another reason to puff out their chest as they continued to try and justify Irving’s exit while they constantly warned the NBA world that Irving was
“This may shock you, but Kyrie Irving’s “mood swings” and “funks” reportedly are making the Nets “queasy” NBC Sports Boston’s Twitter read before introducing an article by Darren Hartwell.
“Turns out Kyrie Irving’s personality didn’t fundamentally change by moving about 200 miles south,” he wrote.
Multiple reports came out toward the end of last season that Irving’s Celtics teammates couldn’t wait for him to leave, citing that he was difficult to play with.
But if we take the game of basketball out of the equation for a moment, are we being too harsh on the superstar?
Mood swings and sudden changes in personality are no laughing matter as they could be a sign of an underlying issue that requires treatment — whether its the side effect of a chronic disease or an acute injury that affects the brain.
The 27-year-old has a concerning history that includes multiple facial and head injuries that carried concussion scares, which could play a part in such behavior. Especially if not treated correctly, per MSKTC.org.
Stress and anxiety could also factor into such behavioral concerns — and there is plenty that comes with being a superstar under the microscope in the NBA.
If his mood swings are a legitimate medical or psychological issue, Boston shouldn’t be playing the “I told you so” card and the Nets shouldn’t be “queasy.” They should work on getting him the help he needs to ensure he’s as comfortable as ever in the NBA while in Brooklyn.