This Brooklyn Nets roster has changed a ton since the 2018-2019 season, where they made the playoffs for the first time since the 2014-2015 season. They moved on from D’Angelo Russell and replaced him with two of the league’s best players in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. This team is one of the most talented in the league, but still, I am skeptical.
The main reason for my lack of trust in the Nets is that their two best players have previously been seen as players who are bad for the locker room. While on the Golden State Warriors, Durant went through a stretch where he didn’t even talk to his teammate. According to an article on “Bleacher Report” by Kyle Newport, NBA insider Chris B Haynes stated, “Kevin Durant… he just stopped talking. He didn’t talk much to his teammates.”
Kyrie Irving has had numerous instances where it didn’t seem like he was helping out the team. During his time in Boston on the Celtics, Kyrie was not looked at as a great locker room presence. In an article by Jeff Goodman from “Stadium,” Goodman wrote that a member of the Celtics organization stated, “He takes the air out of the locker room. And you just never know what you’re going to get with him” in regards to Kyrie Irving. Last season on the Nets, Irving made a statement that the team needs better players for the future and even called out by name some of the players that need help next year. In an article on “SB Nation” by Matt Ellentuck, Ellentuck stated that Irving said, “It’s pretty glaring we need one more piece or two more pieces that will complement myself, KD [Kevin Durant], DJ [DeAndre Jordan], GT [Garrett Temple], Spence [Dinwiddie], Caris [LeVert], and we’ll see how that evolves.” That is something that I don’t think would go down well in a locker room. If one of your best players is listing the names of players he that will need help next year and your name is left off, I am sure that you will feel uneasy about the situation. Your name being left out of this statement is basically saying that you are not one of the core players on this roster, according to Irving. I think that if the Nets struggle, there will be some friction in the locker room that may ultimately lead to poor play on the court.
Another reason for concern is the fact that they have a first-time head coach in Steve Nash. This concern is once again going back to the locker room and how the team will deal with adversity. I am not sure how much a first-time head coach will be respected in the locker room with star-level players. If things start to go south, I am unsure if Steve Nash will be able to get this team back on track.
I think talent-wise, the Nets have enough to be one of the best teams in the league, but I have my doubts about if they will be able to overcome some obstacles that are thrown at them. With that being said, I will not be surprised if the Nets finish the 2020-2021 NBA season as a 4-6 seed in the Eastern Conference.