Kyrie Irving already critical of Nets roster

By WEEI 93.7

Kyrie Irving has been back for three games — after sitting out 26 in a row — and he’s already causing a stir in Brooklyn. No reports about the things he’s doing behind closed doors. These are Irving’s words.

His new team, the Nets, are the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference with an 18-22 record. Following Brooklyn’s latest loss on Wednesday, at the hands of the Joel Embiid-less Sixers, Irving discussed his team’s roster.

Now, throughout the 2019-20 season — when he’s been healthy — the ex-Celtics point guard has talked about themes he tried to stress during his time in Boston. Things young guys need to learn, what he needs to do as a leader — that sort of stuff.

On Wednesday, Irving went all in and gave his opinion of Brooklyn’s roster. And he specified which players he feels are priorities.

Only two were on the 2018-19 Nets roster.

“I mean, it’s transparent. It’s out there. It’s glaring, in terms of the pieces that we need in order to be at that next level,” Irving said. “I’m going to continue to reiterate it. We’re going to do the best with the guys that we have in our locker room now, and we’ll worry about all the other stuff, in terms of moving pieces and everything else, as an organization down the line in the summer. It’s just something that we signed up for.

“We knew what we were coming into at the beginning of this season. Guys were going down left and right. (Garrett Temple) is out, (DeAndre Jordan) just got hurt (Wednesday), Wilson (Chandler) is coming back (off his suspension). We've got complimentary young guys, as well, that have done a great job the last three years. Collectively, I feel like we have great pieces, but it's pretty glaring we need one more piece or two more pieces that will compliment myself, KD (Kevin Durant), DJ (Jordan), GT (Temple), Spence (Spencer Dinwiddie), Caris (LeVert), and we'll see how that evolves.”

Kyrie Irving was asked after tonight’s loss to Philly about this game against a top East opponent showing how much work the Nets still have to do in order to compete at the highest level while waiting for Kevin Durant to return. Here’s Irving’s answer:

— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) January 16, 2020

Significant names omitted from this list of players who need to be complimented are Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince and Joe Harris — the last of which played with Irving in Cleveland. Harris also played for Team USA this past summer with Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown.

For more Celtics and NBA coverage, be sure to subscribe to WEEI’s 5 Out podcast. The podcast is available on RADIO.COM, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher and Spotify.