Yardbarker NBA writers Pat Heery and Sean Keane address the hottest issues in the NBA. This week’s topic: feuds, team chemistry and tension!
Keane: The NBA has entered the doldrums of the season, with the trade deadline (February 6) and All-Star Game (February 16) weeks way. Now you can feel the tension building among players, most of whom have spent months together. Sometimes feuds bubble to the surface. It’s a beautiful thing, actually.
J.J. Redick, who recently deleted his social media, used his podcast to complain that some of his Pelicans teammates care more about “their pregame fit on Instagram” than winning games. The Rockets lost three of four and promptly had a 20-minute, closed-door meeting where they aired grievances like it was a Festivus party. The short version? Russell Westbrook told everyone to play harder.
Kyrie Irving wrote off the Nets’ season, saying they need more pieces. He also listed the players whom the pieces should go around –- himself, Kevin Durant, DeAndre Jordan, Caris Levert and Spencer Dinwiddie -– which must make Jarrett Allen and Joe Harris feel like their new teammate just put them on the trading block. Kyle Kuzma’s trainer tried to throw a wrench in the Lakers by saying LeBron was out of shape, and the Cavs’ Kevin Love punched a chair and threw Cedi Osman the angriest pass in NBA history.
Do these teams need to worry about their chemistry? Why is Kyrie always like this? And who’s going to be the next prominent player to throw his teammates under the bus?