Sean Marks: Nets Were 'Cautious' With Kyrie Irving After Celtics' Locker Room Issues

Mike's On
October 23, 2019 - 4:59 pm

2018-19 was a season filled with drama for Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics.

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The Celtics were expected to do big things, but instead they underachieved throughout the year and ultimately lost 4-1 to the Bucks in the second round of the playoffs. The locker room situation in Boston was not a good one, and Irving was at the center of a lot of those chemistry issues.

The Nets themselves are now taking steps to ensure there isn’t similar drama surrounding Irving this season in Brooklyn.

General manager Sean Marks joined Mike Francesa on WFAN on Wednesday afternoon and was asked how Irving was fitting in after he was unable to get along with some of the Celtics’ younger players last season.

“Yeah. I think that’s something we were pretty cautious of early,” Marks told Francesa. “We didn’t want to judge somebody without really getting to know them.”

Issues arose last year in Boston after poor results were followed by postgame quotes from Irving that were often highly critical of the younger players playing for Brad Stevens’ team. Numerous Celtics players have since spoken out about the toxic atmosphere in the locker room, including Marcus Morris, who said Irving’s emotions were put before the rest of the team.

Irving is known for his skillful play on the court, and off the court he’s known for his colorful quotes and some downright odd statements, including an infamous questioning of whether the Earth might actually be flat. Apparently, his personality didn’t mesh well with his teammates in Boston.

Nicole Sweet / USA Today Sports

There were also issues for Irving in Cleveland, where he won a championship. Irving’s time with the Cavaliers eventually ended with him requesting a trade after seemingly falling out with LeBron James.

Marks says that Irving is continuing to grow as a leader.

“When you bring in a couple guys like Kyrie and Kevin, and also DeAndre, these guys have played on high level teams, championship teams, teams that have been perennially in the playoffs, and so forth. Their expertise is second to none here, and Kyrie’s leadership is growing all the time. It’s great to see him around the team and forming bonds with staff and players alike.”

Irving and the Nets begin the season Wednesday night with a game against the Timberwolves. 

Click on the audio player above to listen to Mike Francesa’s full interview with Sean Marks.