With the regular season set to start for the Nets on Wednesday night against the Timberwolves, Kyrie Irving is ready to embrace the year with his new teammates and group together their experiences on the court into a shared leadership role.
"I think that we all share a certain responsibility in the leadership here," Irving told reporters on Tuesday. "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."
The Nets rebooted their roster and made a big splash this offseason, adding Irving, Kevin Durant -- who will miss the season with an achilles injury -- and DeAndre Jordan. They also added solid role players like Wilson Chandler, Garrett Temple, Taurean Prince and David Nwaba to round out the team.
In order to make space for the new additions, the Nets saw D'Angelo Russell, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Ed Davis and Jared Dudley leave via free agency, and also traded Allen Crabbe and DeMarre Carroll away.
But the Nets still held on to Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris and LeVert, among others, to create a solid rotation that are bound to compete in the weaker East -- especially if Durant returns to form next season.
"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."
After making the playoffs last season as a big surprise, the Nets caught the eyes of many including the city they play for. Irving can see that the Nets are being embraced more, and even went as far to say that those who have supported New York basketball all these years are becoming loyal to the Nets.
"Brooklyn's a place where they've built up everything around here, different residents are in here now. It's just a different culture," Irving explained. "But the same people that have supported New York basketball are still here and they support the Brooklyn Nets now. It's just a respect thing. If you can play, they'll respect you."