On Friday, Kyrie Irving responded to critcism for comments that he made earlier in the week in which he publicly expressed a need for the Nets to upgrade in order to win a title. More specifically, after Brooklyn lost to the 76ers by a score of 117-106 on Wednesday, Irving said it was "glaring" that the team was a few players short of hanging a championship banner.
"Collectively, I feel like we have great pieces, but it's pretty glaring we need one more piece or two more pieces that will complement myself, KD [Kevin Durant], DJ [DeAndre Jordan], GT [Garrett Temple], Spence [Dinwiddie], Caris [LeVert], and we'll see how that evolves," he said.
Given how many names were listed it's not hard to see why those who remain unnamed might've been a little miffed.
According to The Athletic's Alex Schiffer, Irving conceded that he should've perhaps added a few more names to that rundown, while also saying that he explained what he meant to his team:
Irving also made his case for his leadership style to gathering reporters. After talking about how the NBA is an "entertainment league," and how stories can get magnified thanks to social media, he defended himself on that front.
"I can't really do anything about it," he said. "Except be a pillar in our locker room. Be very communicative and, when I'm out there with the guys, just impact winning. That's what it comes down to. It's not just like I'm an asshole yelling at everybody in the friggin' locker room all the time."
"My name was given to me my grandfather and I'm very grateful," he continued. "But it's in a lot of people's mouths all the time and it is what it is. I've earned that respect in terms of how great I am as a player. And there's still more goals I want to accomplish in this league. I can't do it without improving an organization and winning a championship. That's what it comes down to.
"I'm going to continue to push and continue to demand greatness out of myself and my teammates. We go from there. If it's harsh for a leader, or if it's too much for anybody, you're not in our locker room. Stay the fuck out. It's as simple as that."