NBA power rankings week 13: Halfway mark, OKC Thunder hold steady

OKC Thunder Power Ranking W13 Chris Paul #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder handles the ball during the game against the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder Power Ranking W13 Chris Paul #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder handles the ball during the game against the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder, Power rankings week 12
OKC Thunder, Power rankings week 12: Kevin Durant #7 and Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets look on during their game (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

19. team. 147. . 18-23. Previous: 17th. Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn Nets:

Offense: (105.3) 25th
Defense: (107.5) 12th
Net: (minus 2.2) 20th

Games Week 13 (0-3): Lost vs. Jazz: 107-118, 76ers: 106-117, Bucks: 97-117
Games Week 14 (3 games): Mon vs. 76ers | Thurs vs. Lakers | Sat at Pistons

Kyrie Irving is a master with the basketball – of this, there is no doubt. However, his leadership and team skills need work — of this, there is also no doubt.

As per Tim Bontemps tweet after the loss to the 76ers Kyrie offered a response to what the Nets need to do moving forward. It reeks of a similar statement he made last season in Boston.

The most glaring portion of the statement was:

"“Collectively, I feel like we have great pieces, but it’s pretty glaring we need one more piece or two more pieces that compliment myself, KD (Durant), DJ (DeAndre Jordan), GT (Garrett Temple), Spence (Spencer Dinwiddie), Caris (LeVert) and we’ll see how that evolves.”"

Seriously Kyrie? What exact message do you think that sends to players like Joe Harris, Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince, and others on your team who’ve busted their behinds and often played better than the list you rhymed off?

This statement comes three games after he returned from being out 26 games and the Nets have lost two of those games. In fact of the 14 games, he’s played Brooklyn are 5-9! (now 5-10 after the loss to the Bucks)  The five wins were against the Knicks, Rockets, Pelicans, Blazers, and Hawks. While he was sidelined the Nets beat the Celtics, Nuggets, 76ers, and Heat.

And they were playing the 76ers without Joel Embiid on Wednesday exactly the same situation when Brooklyn beat Philly by 20 points WITHOUT Kyrie. So, if you’re one of the unnamed teammates in that locker room how exactly does that statement make you feel?

How would Irving feel if one of the unnamed players brought up that prior game and noted his performance in this loss?

And the worst part? Irving shot 6 of 21 (28.5 percent) and was a team worst minus 29 which was significantly worse than anyone else on his team (Prince was the closest to Irving at minus 10).

The following day after social media, TV, bloggers (well virtually everyone with ties to the NBA had something to say about his sound bite) he spoke at practice and was unapologetic using NSFW language.

We get it – he wants to win and perhaps he arbitrarily left out players’ names unintentionally. But that’s not the point. The point is THAT isn’t the type of comment a leader makes publicly especially when the addition of KD, Taurean Prince, DeAndre Jordan and himself were added to a 41 win team. YOU were the additions to an already solid team. And why are you talking three games in from returning after a brutal performance?

These are not the type of comments a leader makes publicly to foster goodwill among teammates.  At the heart of the issue is Irving doesn’t understand why this is the wrong approach to take.

Like I said — great player —- terrible leader!