Kendrick Perkins on Kyrie Irving: 'He's not strong, mentally'


The Brooklyn Nets are scheduled to visit Boston on Wednesday, which would mark the return of Kyrie Irving. But whether or not Irving will play in the game is now in question because he’s dealing with a right shoulder impingement that’s bothered him for over a week.

Some aren’t buying the story, including RADIO.COM NBA Insider and former Celtics center Kendrick Perkins.

“He’s showing us who he is. This is Kyrie Irving,” Perkins said on Dale & Keefe on Thursday. “Think about this: two weeks before he has to return to Boston, he’s injured. Right? Sounds like a set-up plan to me. Like, ‘Oh, nah, I ain’t playing in this game.’ It was probably pre-rehearsed from the jump. He didn’t want to come back and face this. We’re looking at a guy that’s mentally — he’s not strong, mentally. And he’s proven it. He’s not strong. No matter how much he tries to have this Kobe Bryant mentality and all of this, he’s not like (that).”

Additionally, while assessing Brad Stevens’ coaching to start 2019-20, Perkins expressed he’s seen a difference from last season to this one. And he puts the blame on Irving — while also crediting Kemba Walker.

“You look at Brad, he’s able to coach,” Perkins said. “And it starts with Kemba. When you’re able to coach your best player and you max guy — obviously you already know the relationship that Brad and (Gordon) Hayward (have) — but it trickles down.

“Yeah, I do see a different Brad Stevens than I saw last year, and it was because of Kyrie.”