After losing their second straight game and eighth in the last 10 games, Kyrie Irving had some interesting post-game comments.
Irving has only been back three games after dealing with shoulder bursitis, and the Nets are 1-2 in that span. However, losing to the 76ers -- a top seed in the Eastern Conference at 31-16 -- the All-Star point guard was asked about whether or not Brooklyn can compete with teams like Philadelphia.
Here's what Irving had to say on the matter:
"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," he said, according to ESPN's Tim Bontemps. "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.
"Collectively, I feel like we have great pieces, but it's pretty glaring we need one more piece or two more pieces that will complement myself, [Kevin Durant], [DeAndre Jordan], [Garrett Temple], Spence [Dinwiddie], Caris [LeVert], and we'll see how that evolves."
You could say that's an interesting answer from a player who is supposed to be leading in the locker room. Irving is saying the Nets don't have what it takes to contend, and while it may be extremely blunt and honest, it isn't good optics.
And the fact that the Nets actually have a better record when Irving is out of the lineup doesn't fare well, too. Thanks to NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh, here are the stats:
- Nets with Irving: 5-9
- Nets without Irving: 13-13
The same can be said for his time in Boston, when the Celtics went 12-3 with him out of the lineup compared to 37-30 with him in it.
Of course, Brooklyn does have Kevin Durant waiting to hit the court as he works his way back from a torn Achilles. That will come next season. But what Irving is suggesting is GM Sean Marks has more work to do this offseason to get even more pieces to help the Nets become one of the top teams in the East.
Is Irving right? Maybe. It's just not something you should say during the season.