If you were making an All-Criticism team for NBA players, the Brooklyn Nets already have three of the top five players you would list. Kevin Durant has faced criticism at every turn since making the decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors. It’s hard to remember that Durant was once one of the NBA’s most beloved players and now finds himself on everyone’s team of critics. Kyrie Irving should be the starting point guard. Whether it’s flatland, forcing his way out of Cleveland and leaving Boston, or the vaccine mandate, Irving gets his fair share of flack in NBA circles. And now, with the return of Ben Simmons, he is the third Net who is a guaranteed player on the all-critic team.
No player has had his outside shots watched more closely or shared more widely than Simmons. Since college, there has been a lot of talk about Simmons’ shooting ability or lack thereof. Simmons has played at the All-Star level his entire career and is treated like a scrub. Simmons recently spoke about what he sees as unfair criticism that has steered his direction all these years in a interview with ESPN’s Nick Friedell.
Kyrie Irving on advice from Ben Simmons
Simmons isn’t the only one who sat down with Friedell. Kyrie Irving recently spent time with NBA Insider for ESPN, where he shared the advice he has for his Nets and NBA All-Criticism teammate.
“…This is an emotional time in our world. People attack others for what they believe in, their work, whatever. Harsh criticism is one of them, but what’s warranted is how you react. And how do you handle it. … The moment he wakes up and he realizes, ‘This isn’t really my life. I have a love and support system around me made up of people who care about me, and they are people I can go to for honest answers.
Every time you go to social media for honest answers, I don’t know if you’ll come back any smarter than when you came in. … There are also good people out there who reach out and want to help others, so I’m just one of those people for sure,” Irving told Friedell.
Irving noted that he would have to rely on his support system and that his Nets teammates are behind him. Where Simmons shouldn’t seek support, according to Irving, is social media.
Kyrie Irving on supporting Simmons
Friedell took Irving’s advice to lean on his support system by asking how the Nets are making an effort to support Simmons when he returns to court.
“I think one of our greatest strengths as a human community is to humanize everyone’s life. He’s a human being, so he’s going to respond in his own way. And he’s going to handle things in his own way. , and we have to honor and respect that. That’s what people of integrity do. Not everyone lives by those same morals, so yeah, as a leader, I feel like it’s my responsibility to protect him, but I also have to understand that he has to go through things on his own. And when he asks for help, just be there for him. …
I don’t want to say that I found all the answers myself, because it’s an ongoing battle myself, just managing these ebbs and flows. But for him, I just don’t want to see him get caught up in the same nonsense. Irving told Friedell.