NBA

Kyrie Irving is misunderstood – Nets' Harris

By Sports Desk July 09, 2019

Brooklyn Nets recruit Kyrie Irving is "misunderstood" and a "great team-mate", insisted Joe Harris.

Irving – a six-time All-Star and 2016 NBA champion – swapped the Boston Celtics for Eastern Conference rivals the Nets via free agency.

Harris and Irving were team-mates with the Cleveland Cavaliers and will be reunited once again in Brooklyn.

Irving will be joining the Nets after a rough stint in Boston, where he was reportedly unhappy and had issues with team-mates as well as the coaching staff.

Harris, however, defended Irving after telling the New York Post: "Kyrie, he's got a big personality. He's one of these guys that's misunderstood.

"The way that he's construed in the media is probably going to paint him in a light that is not necessarily true. I'd say you could ask a lot of people that played with him and they'd all say that he's a great team-mate and a good guy to be around."

Harris said he enjoyed his time playing with Irving and was looking forward to sharing the court with him again.

"None of us are perfect all the time," Harris said. "We're all going to have ups and downs throughout the course of the season. …  For him, unfortunately, he's just in one of these scenarios where there's so much more attention on him and people are paying much more attention to when he does have an off day.

"I have off days all the time, too, but nobody really cares when I have an off day. People care when Kyrie does."

Irving averaged 23.8 points and 6.9 assists for the Celtics last season.

"He's one of these guys where he's very much must-see," Harris said. "We all know the talent, but I got to see it for a year and a half every day. … He really is that talented. He's a top-10 talent."

The Nets also added star Kevin Durant and center DeAndre Jordan this offseason. Meanwhile, they sent D'Angelo Russell to the Golden State Warriors in a sign-and-trade.

Harris poured in a career-high 13.7 points per game and shot 47.4 per cent from three-point range for Brooklyn in 2018-19.

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