Kyrie Irving will be a strong locker room presence for the Nets, according to Joe Harris.
Harris and Irving were teammates with the Cavaliers and will be reunited once again after the star announced he was heading to Brooklyn this summer.
— Roc Nation Sports (@RocNationSports) July 1, 2019
Irving will be joining the Nets after a rough stint in Boston, where he was reportedly unhappy and had issues with teammates as well as the coaching staff. Harris, however, defended Irving during a recent interview with the New York Post.
“Kyrie, he’s got a big personality,” Harris said. “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 teammate 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 has made six All-Star teams during his eight-year career and won a championship with Cleveland in 2015-16.
“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. They sent D’Angelo Russell to the Warriors in a sign-and-trade, as well.
Harris poured in a career-high 13.7 points per game and shot 47.4% from 3-point range for Brooklyn in 2018-19.