With new rumors swirling around Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving and his supposed attitude problems, one of his teammates — center Jarrett Allen — shot down these reports, claiming in a recent Q&A session that the six-time All-Star isn’t doing anything unusual as a teammate.
As recapped by USA Today‘s For the Win, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said on Thursday’s edition of First Take that he’s heard some unpleasant rumors about Irving since the Nets acquired him as a free agent ahead of the 2019-20 NBA season. He claimed that it wasn’t just the supposed mood swings that his sources were telling him about, but didn’t go into much detail about the new allegations, simply suggesting that there have been some negative things said about Irving “from an attitude perspective.”
The above rumors, however, were denied by Allen later that Thursday during an Ask Me Anything session with Bleacher Report, where the big man fielded multiple questions from readers who wanted to know more about his relationship with Irving as a teammate. In response to a reader who asked about how Irving acts in the locker room, Allen said that the 27-year-old point guard “acts like a normal teammate” and doesn’t go through mood swings as alleged last month.
“He wants to see us succeed and do well if anything,” Allen continued.
Additionally, Allen also answered a question from a reader who wondered if Irving and his fellow free-agent acquisition, Kevin Durant, would be a good fit for the Nets’ locker-room culture and playing style.
“I think they are going to fit in well. They fit in the culture and are buying in. When you have people that high of a level buying in, it’s promising for the future.”
— First Take (@FirstTake) November 21, 2019
Analyzing Smith’s latest remarks and Allen’s denial of the rumors about Irving’s attitude, NBC Sports wrote that the former’s comments should be taken with a “full box of Morton’s Kosher salt,” given that he is known for “[stirring] things up.” The outlet added that the difference between Irving and Durant’s superstar status and the selfless, team-first nature of the players who preceded them in Brooklyn was always bound to cause some friction, thus leaving the possibility of the two new stars rubbing some — but not all — teammates the wrong way.
“Some of those people will talk to the media, but that doesn’t mean everyone — or even a majority — feel the same way,” wrote NBC Sports‘ Kurt Helin. “It’s usually people who feel aggrieved who want to vent.”