Zach Gelb took Kyrie Irving to task on CBS Sports Radio on Thursday, this after Irving threw shade at LeBron James’ ability in the clutch and Steve Nash’s authority as Nets head coach.
Irving won an NBA title with James in 2016, but apparently Irving doubted James’ ability to deliver in the clutch, saying of Nets teammate Kevin Durant, “This is the first time in my career I've looked down and [thought], ‘That [bleep]-er can make that shot, too.’”
Gelb couldn’t believe Irving’s arrogance, not to mention his delusion.
“He’s inserting himself into a story when he’s not in the news and when LeBron is about to win a fourth championship,” Gelb said on The Zach Gelb Show. “He wanted to get away from LeBron, then realized, ‘Oh, I’m not fit to be the guy, so then I got to be the VP to Kevin Durant – so now I basically got to take a shot at LeBron.’ That’s what he did.
“I know LeBron is not the greatest shooter in the world,” Gelb continued, “but we’re talking about one of the greatest players of all time. You don’t have confidence down the stretch that LeBron is going to step up and make a big play, make a big shot? Come on, that’s ridiculous. It’s absurd.”
As for Nash, Irving said that he doesn’t “really see” the Nets “having a head coach.” Instead, there will be days when KD is the head coach and days when he – Irving – is the head coach.
Yet, Irving maintains he didn’t get former Nets coach Kenny Atkinson fired.
“Come on. If you wanted that guy to be the coach, he still would have been the coach,” Gelb said. “The way I translate [his comment about Nash] is KD and Kyrie Irving are the owner of this team, are the president of this team, the general manager of this team, the coaches of this team and also the star players on this team. But they didn’t get Kenny Atkinson fired? Come on, that’s a bunch of baloney. They run the organization.
“When you bring in players like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, you are handing over the keys to your car,” Gelb continued. “That’s what you’re doing, and it’s the right move if you’re the Nets. Yes, the Nets were fun; yes, the Nets were in the playoffs the year before KD and Kyrie got there. They lost to the Sixers, but they never had a shot to win a championship. Regardless of the impressive work that Kenny Atkinson and Sean Marks did, everything you did was to get in a spot to attract a free agent, and you ended up getting two big names in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. So now Sean Marks will be the person that says, ‘Yeah, I made the decision to fire Kenny Atkinson,’ when in reality it was KD and Kyrie.”
Hopefully Nash, who has never been a head coach, enters his post with eyes wide open – because he may be in for a rude awakening.
“Steve Nash is going to be someone that will oversee the team, but who does he ultimately answer to? He answers to KD and Kyrie,” Gelb said. “The only reason Steve Nash is there is because of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, which is fine. If that’s what KD and Kyrie Irving want, that’s what they should get. Who knows how long this will last, but here’s the bottom line: if the Nets win a championship, KD and Kyrie get all the glory. If they lose, though, you better be the first two people taking ownership of it because this is all on you.”