Nets guard Joe Harris played with Kyrie Irving in Cleveland and he believes the public perception of Irving doesn't align with the person he knows.
"Kyrie, he's got a big personality. I think he's one of these guys that's misunderstood," Harris told reporters in Las Vegas, per The Athletic's Michael Scotto. "I think the way that he's construed in the media is probably going to paint him in a light that is not necessarily true."
Harris said he had "a lot of good times" with Irving when they played together in Cleveland for parts of two seasons.
"He's a lot of fun to be around whether it's hanging out, playing video games, grabbing a drink, whatever it might be," Harris said.
Irving was in a leadership position with the Celtics last year when the club failed to meet expectations. The club lost in the second round to Milwaukee, and Irving was blamed in some corners for falling short in his role as a leader.
However, as fellow Net Spencer Dinwiddie noted on Sunday, it's unfair to solely blame Irving.
Gordon Hayward had a sub-par season in his return from injury and Celtics coach Brad Stevens ultimately couldn't get the new group to coalesce.
"I think in any situation, it's unfair to only blame one party. If you break up with your girlfriend ... it's always going to be a blend (of blame)," Dinwiddie said. "You're going to have blame, she's going to have blame. Maybe it's 80-20. It was mostly her fault but you still had your part in it too. Whatever happened in Boston, I wasn't privy to it, I didn't live it but I would be hard-pressed to believe it was completely one-sided."
Irving could be in a leadership position this season with Harris and the young Nets.
But there's a difference between the circumstances surrounding Irving in Boston and Brooklyn.
Irving was traded to Boston, but he chose to sign with the Nets. So it's fair to think that he may be more fully invested in the long-term success of Brooklyn than he was with Boston. Plus, Durant and DeAndre Jordan will be around the club, which would presumably be helpful to Irving.
Irving, Durant and Jordan have already been in touch with some of the young Nets on the Summer League team, according to Dzanan Musa.
"He loves young players and I think he will help us a lot," Musa said Sunday. "He's trying to -- him KD and DeAndre -- they're all trying to kind of be with us and kind of help us through summer league."