Irving on Nets' leadership: We all share a certain responsibility
Kyrie Irving is expected to be the Brooklyn Nets' key player this season but the All-Star insisted a group effort will determine the direction of the team.
Irving swapped the Boston Celtics for the Nets to team up with Kevin Durant amid much hype and fanfare in the offseason.
Irving is set to be the alpha dog in 2019-20 as former Golden State Warriors superstar Durant recovers from an Achilles injury.
However, Irving told reporters on Tuesday: "I think that we all share a certain responsibility in the leadership here.
“Kenny always echoes that this is player-led. He gives us the freedom to figure it out.” pic.twitter.com/TQ5Pvp72xp— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) October 22, 2019
"I think that some of my past experiences, there could be a sense of alienation when you think about someone naming you as just the leader of the team and falling all in your court.
"I want to share those responsibilities with those guys — obviously we have different roles, that every single night there's a consistency that you have to live up to, and your game. But overall, there shouldn't be a different communication that I have with [Dzanan] Musa or Caris [LeVert] just because I am a nine-year vet, or anything like that."
Irving's leadership style was questioned when he clashed with some of his team-mates at the Celtics last season and Boston failed to live up to lofty championship expectations.
But now the star point guard is in a completely different situation as he attempts to put a Brooklyn team that have never won an NBA title on the map.
"This is just one accord, one team, one common voice," Irving said. "We all share our own experiences and we want to use that to become better as a team. So yeah, individually we have our own leadership, but as a group, we all share that responsibility."
Irving – a six-time All-Star – is entering his ninth NBA season and averaged 23.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game last year.
He will make his Nets debut as Brooklyn host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.