Kyrie Irving is still « my guy » amid the drama
LAS VEGAS — Disgruntled Nets star Kyrie Irving showed up to watch Summer League games from Las Vegas — but not either of his team’s inclinations.
Protege Cam Thomas – who was taken under the wing of Irving and Kevin Durant during his rookie campaign – said his relationship with Irving was as it was despite all the uncertainty surrounding the All’s return -Star on the Nets.
“Kyrie is my guy. Whatever his choices are, it’s a choice,” Thomas said. “So I always keep in touch with him. He’s my guy. So whatever he does, he’ll always be my guy, my brother. So that’s what it is; it’s part of the business.
Thomas said he didn’t catch Irving here, and he didn’t try either.
« No, I haven’t spoken to him. I’m focused on what I’m doing. He does what he does, I do what I do. I’m more concerned with the game than connecting with someone.
It didn’t go unnoticed that Irving skipped the Nets’ opener on Friday against Milwaukee, attending the Detroit-Washington and Oklahoma City-Houston games Saturday night at Thomas & Mack Arena. He did not attend the Nets’ win over Philadelphia on Sunday.
« Yeah. I mean, it’s on him. I don’t care; he can come watch, or he doesn’t have to. I’m still gonna do my thing. We’re still gonna play; it doesn’t matter who’s watching » , Thomas said. « It’s part of basketball. It’s his choice. I don’t care what he does with it. But that’s the way it is. »
Ben Simmons, however – who the Nets acquired at the trade deadline after holding off in Philadelphia, citing mental health issues – was in attendance for the Nets’ win over the Sixers. He declined to speak to members of the media about his back surgery, rehabilitation or current state of mind. But Thomas said it meant a lot to have Simmons on hand.
« Yeah, it’s great to have someone of that stature coming to support us as youngsters. It makes us feel good. It makes us happy to play, » Thomas said. coming here and watching us play. »
David Duke Jr. — who is seeking a spot in the standard roster after rejecting a round trip — had 21 points and five assists, finishing a plus-17. He credited Blake Griffin with pushing him to be less hesitant and to trust his own aggression.
Day’Ron Sharpe had 13 points and 11 rebounds as the Nets tried harder to find the second-year center. He had a thunderous dunk in the fourth quarter, taking a hard knockdown afterwards but rocking it to end the game.
Nets head coach Steve Nash was inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame but flew to Las Vegas to watch Sunday’s game.
After failing to get an assist on his debut, Alondes Williams rebounded with nine points, five assists and four rebounds. The rookie point guard had three turnovers but added a block, a steal and finished plus-10 – second-best on the team.
« It’s going to get better and better, » Nets assistant coach Adam Caporn said. « You can just see he can feel the whole floor. And he’s also getting used to the NBA’s defense and length and speed and so on. And a new offense. I think the passing is great We’re definitely going to see some really exciting things in the passing game.