Kyrie Irving stands by his criticism of some Brooklyn Nets team-mates and defended his leadership style as he insisted he is not a "f****** a*****e".

Irving – who joined the Nets as a free agent in the offseason – made headlines this week when he claimed the team had "glaring" needs following a 117-106 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

However, the 27-year-old, a one-time NBA champion and a six-time All-Star, believes he was right to criticise his team-mates and cites his career achievements as the basis for taking a leadership role.

"It's probably a tell-tale sign of the career that I've had, some of the moves that I've made individually as well as coming to different environments and organisations," Irving told reporters in a video shared by SNYtv.

"At the end of the day, it's an entertainment league. We're drama-filled, everything revolves on these media platforms, which is part of society. I can't really do anything about it, except really be a pillar in our locker room and when I'm out there, winning, that's what it comes down to.

"It's not like I'm a f****** a*****e shouting all of the time in the locker room.

"I'm going to continue to push, demand greatness from my team-mates and we go from there. If it's harsh as a leader or it's too much for anybody, you're not in our locker room – stay the f*** out, it's as simple as that."


Irving also insisted he has earned the right to be respected and listened to by his team-mates, as he attempts to propel the Nets towards a championship win.

"At the end of the day, my name is in a lot of people's mouths all of the time," Irving added.

"I've earned that respect because of how great I am as a player and there's still more goals I want to accomplish in this league and I can't do it without improving an organisation and winning a championship, and that's what it comes down to."

The Nets are eighth in the Eastern Conference with an 18-22 record for the season, with pacesetters the Milwaukee Bucks next up on Saturday.

Kyrie Irving savoured his long-awaited comeback after ending a two-month injury absence to lead the Brooklyn Nets past the lowly Atlanta Hawks.

Irving returned from a right shoulder injury for his first NBA appearance since November as the Nets beat the Hawks 108-86 in Brooklyn on Sunday.

The NBA champion and six-time All-Star posted 21 points in 20 minutes, shooting 10 of 11 from the field against the visiting Hawks.

"I really missed the game of basketball," Irving said after the game. "I'm grateful to be out here. I worked extremely hard to get back.

"We got a long season ahead of us, a lot more goals to accomplish, and it started tonight ... I love the game man, I missed it so much."

The Nets improved their season record to 18-20 to be seventh in the Eastern Conference following back-to-back wins.

In his first season with the Nets since leaving the Boston Celtics, Irving is averaging 27.9 points, 6.8 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game.

Kyrie Irving appears set to make his first appearance since November after the Brooklyn Nets said the six-time All-Star was "getting ready" for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Hawks.

Irving, one of Brooklyn's big free-agent acquisitions in the offseason along with Kevin Durant, has missed the Nets' past 26 games with a right shoulder injury.

The Nets, who remain without the injured Durant, have gone 13-13 in that time and Irving's return will be a timely boost for a team eighth in the Eastern Conference.

Irving had officially been listed as 'probable' for the game in Brooklyn, and the Nets' tweet on Sunday suggested he will be returning.

The former Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics guard has averaged 28.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists - all career highs - in his 11 appearances for Brooklyn so far.

Kyrie Irving has not ruled out undergoing shoulder surgery, though the Brooklyn Nets star is hoping to avoid it.

Irving has endured a nightmare first season with the Nets – an ongoing shoulder problem sidelining the 2016 NBA champion since November.

The six-time All-Star, who arrived from the Boston Celtics in the offseason, is holding off on surgery but Irving will re-evaluate in a month or two.

"I am in a better place now that it has been a significant amount of time," Irving told reporters on Saturday. "The next step in any progression was to either get a cortisone shot or to get surgery. That was the ultimatum I was fixed with.

"Now, I'm just doing the best I can to live off this cortisone and move forward if I need surgery in the future."

Irving added: "A cortisone shot lasts as long as it can. You either continue to get cortisone shots, which is obviously detrimental to your health and your muscles, or you go get arthroscopic surgery.

"For me, it's just about being able to go back out there after the right amount of rehab, the right amount of rest and recovery and see what we can do for the rest of the season and then re-evaluate after a few months."

Irving has not played since a showdown against the Denver Nuggets on November 14.

Up until that point, Irving had been averaging 28.5 points, 7.2 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game for the Nets, who also have star recruit Kevin Durant recovering from an Achilles injury.

"It just sucks, man," Irving said. "It really is disheartening when you are working your tail off to be at a certain level and your shooting shoulder just starts to give out on you a little bit. You are looking at it like, 'Hey, it's just a shoulder. Let me ice this thing and get back out there.'

"But you keep feeling something in your shoulder and you're trying to explain it to the medical staff. You're trying to explain it to all these experts out there ... I'm doing all these exercises and still nothing is happening to get me back on the court."

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving will miss his eighth consecutive game after being ruled out of Friday's showdown against former team the Boston Celtics.

Nets guard Irving sat out Wednesday's 121-110 loss to the Celtics at TD Garden due to a right shoulder injury.

While he was absent midweek, the six-time All-Star and 2016 NBA champion was still taunted with chants of 'Where is Kyrie?' and 'Kyrie sucks'.

And Irving will have to wait to face the Celtics as he is set to miss the rematch at Barclays Center.

Prior to his injury, Irving – who arrived from the Celtics in the offseason – had been averaging 28.5 points, 7.2 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game for the Nets this campaign.

Kyrie Irving hit back at Boston Celtics fans after he came in for abuse despite being absent for the Brooklyn Nets' 121-110 defeat at TD Garden on Wednesday.

Irving missed the trip to face his former team as he remains sidelined with a shoulder injury, but the guard was still taunted with chants of 'Where is Kyrie?' and 'Kyrie sucks'.

The six-time All Star and 2016 NBA champion responded on social media four months after leaving Boston to join the Nets.

He wrote in a lengthy Instagram post: "It happens all the time and tonight just shows how sports/entertainment will always be ignorant and obtrusive.

"It's one big SHOW that means VERY VERY little in the real world that most people live in, because there are actually things that matter going on within it, like figuring out life means more to you than a damn ball going into a hoop."

He added: "It's about doing it for the fans and organization that love you so much? Think again, it's a GAME, and it's promoted as a Fandom experience for ticket buyers and viewers at home, while defacing who people truly are as PEOPLE."

Irving continued: "A purposeful and spiritually-led life will always be bigger and more meaningful than any sports arena or any entertainment space.

"This game isn't meant to be controlled and shown as a drama, it's meant to show the love. Love for the art is the only damn thing that keeps the purist people in the giant sports/entertainment circus.

"Don't fall for the game that's played in front of you as entertainment, it'll never be as serious as dealing with life."

 

Brooklyn faced adversity early against Houston on Friday night, but they rebounded to claim a 123-116 victory at Barclays Center.

The Nets fell into a hole early and trailed by as much as 15 in the first half before it found scoring from some surprising places.

Taurean Prince unexpectedly led the way offensively with a team-high 27 points for Brooklyn while Garrett Temple chipped in with 16 points and seven rebounds.

Brooklyn still called Kyrie Irving's number down the stretch and he sealed the game with a step-back dagger on a corner 3-pointer in the fourth quarter. He finished with 22 points on the night.

James Harden continued his ridiculous run at the charity stripe, tallying 36 points and eight rebounds while sinking 14 free throws. But he struggled from deep and made only two of his 16 long-range shots.

Houston has made a name for itself by shooting a large number of threes, but shooting at a 25 percent clip against a Brooklyn team that converted 59.4 percent from downtown didn't help their chances.

The Rockets dropped to 3-2 in the western conference, while the Nets improved to 2-3 in season 2019-20.

Kemba makes himself at home in the Garden

Kemba Walker scored 33 points in the Celtics' 104-102 win over the Knicks at TD Garden.

Russell Westbrook totalled 27 points, eight assists, seven rebounds, and four steals against Brooklyn.

Andre Drummond tallied 25 points and 24 rebounds as the Pistons fell to the Bulls 112-106.

Lopez and Garland wayward

Brook Lopez went 1-of-7 from the field and scored three points in the Bucks' 123-91 rout of the Magic.

Cleveland's Darius Garland missed all 10 of his shots and notched just two points in his team's 102-95 loss to the Pacers.

Tatum ices the game for the Celtics

Jayson Tatum scored 24 points and nailed the decisive basket as the Celtics snuck past the Knicks.

 

 

76ers at Blazers

Philadelphia is undefeated but they face a talented Portland team without Joel Embiid who is serving a two-game suspension for a skirmish with Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns. How will the 76ers respond without their dominant post presence and defensive stud down low? Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum certainly won't make things easy for the Eastern Conference powerhouse.

Kyrie Irving took little satisfaction from a record-breaking 50-point haul on his Brooklyn Nets debut because the team suffered a 127-126 overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Six-time All-Star Irving set a new scoring record for a player making a first appearance with an NBA team, also adding eight rebounds and seven assists at Barclays Center.

The point guard shot 17-of-33 from the field, including 7-of-14 from three-point range, but a slip on the final play out of a Nets timeout forced him into a rushed jump shot that rimmed out and consigned Brooklyn to an opening loss.

"The job wasn't done, so that 50 just goes into [the books as] another few numbers. It holds value, but not really when you don't get a win," said Irving.

"None of that stuff matters unless you get a win. The race is to get as many wins as you can in 82 games and put yourself in position down the stretch.

"We've got 81 more to go and we just take it day by day."

Despite Irving's impressive scoring, the Nets found themselves 18 points behind the Timberwolves with eight minutes and 18 seconds left on the clock in the second quarter.

Head coach Kenny Atkinson moved to absolve the 27-year-old of any blame for the defeat due to his late miss and expects more from Brooklyn as their chemistry improves.

"[Irving] was outstanding. Obviously, great debut for him. Disappointed we made such a big hole for us," said Atkinson. "Everybody talks about the end of the game. Really, this game was lost in the first half.

"I think we're getting to know each other and he's getting to know his team-mates. He's getting to know the system.

"I thought he made some great [plays], the pass to Jarrett Allen on the roll, we got two free throws out of. I think there was a kick out to Taurean Prince, wide open, so I think there were good plays made there.

"I always say with point guards: 'Read the defense. If the game calls for you to get 50 points, get 50. There are other nights where it's going to be 15 assists.'

"So we'll look at it and, again, I think a big part of this is just getting more reps together, knowing each other better."

The Philadelphia 76ers opened their NBA season with a 107-93 win over rivals the Boston Celtics, while Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets lost.

Ben Simmons led the way with 24 points, nine assists and eight rebounds as the 76ers topped the Celtics in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Celtics debutant Kemba Walker – acquired to replace Irving in Boston – scored 12 points on four-of-18 shooting and one-of-six shooting from beyond the three-point line.

Irving made history in Brooklyn's 127-126 overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves midweek.

Nets star Irving recorded the most points by a player on his team debut in NBA history after scoring 50 in the OT defeat.

The six-time All-Star broke Kiki VanDeWeghe's record, which was set in 1984 after the German-American posted 47 points for the Portland Trail Blazers.

 

Washington dazzles on Hornets debut

PJ Washington set a Charlotte Hornets rookie record by making seven three-pointers in the team's 126-125 win over the Chicago Bulls. He also had 27 points in his NBA debut.

Andre Drummond had 32 points, 23 rebounds and four blocks in the Detroit Pistons' 119-110 win over the Indiana Pacers.

 

Holiday highlights Pacers' woes

Indiana Pacers guard Aaron Holiday scored zero points on 0-of-six shooting and 0-of-one shooting from beyond the three-point line. That is probably the reason he only played seven minutes.

 

Fultz shows signs of life on Magic debut

Markelle Fultz's career with the Orlando Magic is off to a good start after a 94-85 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The former number one pick, who struggled at the 76ers, also threw one down in transition.

Wednesday's results

Orlando Magic 94-85 Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons 119-110 Indiana Pacers
Minnesota Timberwolves 127-126 Brooklyn Nets (OT)
Charlotte Hornets 126-125 Chicago Bulls
Miami Heat 120-101 Memphis Grizzlies
Philadelphia 76ers 107-93 Boston Celtics
Dallas Mavericks 108-100 Washington Wizards
San Antonio Spurs 120-111 New York Knicks
Utah Jazz 100-95 Oklahoma City Thunder
Denver Nuggets 108-100 Portland Trail Blazers
Phoenix Suns 124-95 Sacramento Kings

 

Bucks at Rockets

It is Russell Westbrook's Houston Rockets debut and now we get to see how he will work with James Harden. The two played together in Oklahoma City, but their usage rates were not nearly as high then as they are now. Oh, and we will see how reining MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo's shot has improved and if he will be more willing to shoot from beyond the arc.

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving recorded the most points by a player on his team debut in NBA history.

Irving made his Nets debut on Wednesday and scored 50 points in a 127-126 overtime defeat to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The six-time All-Star broke Kiki VanDeWeghe's record, which was set in 1984 after the German-American posted 47 points for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Irving – who also had eight rebounds and seven assists – almost finished with 52 points and the game winner but lost his balance attempting a potential winning shot against the Timberwolves.

The 2016 NBA champion swapped the Boston Celtics for the Nets in the offseason to team up with superstar Kevin Durant, who is recovering from an Achilles injury.

Irving – into his ninth NBA season – averaged 23.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.9 assists last season.

 

 

 

Kyrie Irving is expected to be the Brooklyn Nets' key player this season but the All-Star insisted a group effort will determine the direction of the team.

Irving swapped the Boston Celtics for the Nets to team up with Kevin Durant amid much hype and fanfare in the offseason.

Irving is set to be the alpha dog in 2019-20 as former Golden State Warriors superstar Durant recovers from an Achilles injury.

However, Irving told reporters on Tuesday: "I think that we all share a certain responsibility in the leadership here.

"I think that some of my past experiences, there could be a sense of alienation when you think about someone naming you as just the leader of the team and falling all in your court.

"I want to share those responsibilities with those guys — obviously we have different roles, that every single night there's a consistency that you have to live up to, and your game. But overall, there shouldn't be a different communication that I have with [Dzanan] Musa or Caris [LeVert] just because I am a nine-year vet, or anything like that."

Irving's leadership style was questioned when he clashed with some of his team-mates at the Celtics last season and Boston failed to live up to lofty championship expectations.

But now the star point guard is in a completely different situation as he attempts to put a Brooklyn team that have never won an NBA title on the map.

"This is just one accord, one team, one common voice," Irving said. "We all share our own experiences and we want to use that to become better as a team. So yeah, individually we have our own leadership, but as a group, we all share that responsibility."

Irving – a six-time All-Star – is entering his ninth NBA season and averaged 23.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game last year.

He will make his Nets debut as Brooklyn host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.

 

Kyrie Irving acknowledged he was "conflicted" but would not divulge discussions with commissioner Adam Silver as the NBA's relationship with China remains on the agenda.

Preseason games in China - involving Irving's Brooklyn Nets - were at the centre of controversy after a since-deleted tweet from Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey supported anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

Morey's comments overshadowed what had been expected to be a celebration of the NBA in one of their key international markets, with media duties cancelled, although the games went ahead.

LeBron James, whose Los Angeles Lakers were also involved, weighed in on his return to the United States, suggesting Morey "wasn't educated" on the matter.

And Irving was asked about the situation following the Nets' final preseason game against the Toronto Raptors at Barclays Center, where fans were pictured wearing "Stand with Hong Kong" shirts in the stands.

Questions centred on a reported behind-closed-doors meeting between Silver and the players involved in China.

"I don't know whose notes [reports are from] or who is in there that you can't really depend on to keep a conversation like that in house," Irving said. "Especially when it is about the NBA brand and the NBA players being impacted by it.

"I stand for four things, man: inner peace, freedom, equality and world peace. So, if that is being conflicted inside of me, I am definitely going to have something to say, and I left it in that room."

Irving, who scored 19 points on 7-of-17 shooting in the defeat to the Raptors, added: "I understand that Hong Kong and China is dealing with their issues, respectively.

"But there is enough oppression and stuff going on in America for me not to be involved in the community issues here as well."

Silver claimed earlier this week the Chinese government had asked the NBA to fire Morey, adding: "We said there's no chance that's happening. There's no chance we'll even discipline him."

Anthony Davis became the latest star to suffer an injury during NBA preseason as the Brooklyn Nets eased to a 91-77 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in China.

Davis suffered a sprained thumb midway through the first quarter, joining the Nets' Kyrie Irving on the sidelines after he aggravated a facial injury in the sides' previous meeting on Thursday.

Star Lakers signing Davis tweaked his thumb while going up to block a shot at the rim, staying in the game for a short period before heading to the locker room for further evaluation.

He came back to the sidelines with an ice pack taped to his right hand and was ruled out for the rest of the game.

Davis served as the starting center, finishing the game with six points while shooting 2-of-7 from the field - both buckets coming off assists from LeBron James.

The former New Orleans Pelicans superstar added three rebounds and two blocks in 12 minutes before leaving due to the injury.

Los Angeles were able to keep it close through the first half but saw the Nets pull clear in the third quarter as Caris LeVert shone in Irving's absence.

LeVert left the previous clash early with a knock, but he scored 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting and grabbed four rebounds. Taurean Prince also played a big role off the bench with 14 points.

The game brought to an end a trip to China that has been clouded in controversy stemming from a since-deleted tweet by Daryl Morey earlier this week, with the Houston Rockets GM supporting anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

The two scheduled fixtures went ahead but all media availability was cancelled, overshadowing what had been expected to be a celebration of the NBA in one of its key international markets.

As the teams return to the United States, the Lakers' next preseason game is set for Monday against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center.

The Nets host the Toronto Raptors next on Friday at Barclays Center.

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving will not face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in Saturday's NBA preseason fixture after aggravating a facial fracture.

Irving left Brooklyn's 114-111 win over the Lakers early on Thursday due to the problem he suffered over the offseason.

The Nets announced on Friday that Irving will not feature against the Lakers at Shenzhen Dayun Arena in China.

Irving suffered the injury just one minute into Thursday's contest after being bumped by Lakers guard Rajon Rondo. He did not record a point, rebound or assist.

This is not Irving's first run-in with this kind of injury.

The 27-year-old point guard suffered a minor facial fracture playing for the Boston Celtics in November 2017 after taking an inadvertent elbow to the face during a game.

He also broke his jaw in December 2012 while playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Whether this problem will affect his success in his first season with the Nets remains to be seen.

Irving signed a four-year, $141million deal in the offseason alongside Kevin Durant, who also signed a max contract but will likely miss all of 2019-20 recovering from an Achilles injury.

A six-time All-Star, Irving has averaged 22.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 5.7 assists in his career.

Page 1 of 2
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.