Before the 2020-21 NBA season, Kyrie Irving made some questionable comments when speaking about the Nets head coach and his role.
At the time, the Nets were still a superstar away from being a superteam, fielding a healthy Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant for the first time since they had signed the duo in the 2019 NBA offseason.
The Nets brought in Steve Nash to be their head coach, a move that many questioned because of Nash’s lack of experience, but Kyrie took the whole situation in a completely different way when he said that he didn’t really see Brooklyn as a team having a head coach.
Kyrie Irving speaks on the coaching situation: “I don’t really see us having a “head” coach. KD could be a head coach, I could be a head coach (some days).”
KD adds: “Jacque Vaughn could be a head coach could do it one day. It’s a collaborative effort.”
— Alec Sturm (@Alec_Sturm) October 1, 2020
While those comments are a year old now and even though Kyrie has went back on his original statement, it hasn’t stopped Gary Payton for calling the Nets guard on it.
Gary Payton Says Kyrie Irving Had A Horrible Take On The Nets’ Coaching Job
Irving, Durant, and later Harden would have a phenomenal season for the Nets, leading them to the second seed in the Eastern Conference. However, health was the biggest problem for this stacked Nets roster as their big-three hardly played together in the regular season before Kyrie and Harden both found themselves injured at some point in the postseason.
The comments about Steve Nash and the coaching job in Brooklyn were definitely weird at the time, and it’s something that Gary Payton has found issue with it about a year later.
Payton appeared on ‘Nothing Personal’ with David Samson and had the following to say:
“That’s just a shame right there. I think that that was a bad statement by him. You should respect the coaches, you should respect the guys that have been put in those positions.”
“And if you want to be that guy, if you were a guy that was my superstar, and you come to me, and you perform on the floor and do the things on the floor that you are supposed to, then I’m gonna bring you in on everything I’m gonna do, anyway. Because I wanna keep you happy and keep my team happy.”
The Nets are definitely far past the comments now as they came together as a unit when it mattered, but Payton does make some valid points. Of course, it’ll be interesting to see how the Nets play this year with a fully healthy roster. We still have no idea how great this team really can be, but next season should answer that question.
“Healthy James Harden…it’s scary, scary hours.”
– James Harden is ready for next season. 😤
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) August 29, 2021
Scary hours indeed.