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Report: Kyrie's 'mood swings' causing concern for Nets officials

Nathaniel S. Butler / National Basketball Association / Getty

Kyrie Irving's occasional "mood swings" have created unease among Brooklyn Nets officials, ESPN's Jackie MacMullan reports.

These reported "funks" are highlighted by an incident during the team's preseason trip to China, where Irving was uncooperative during a team photo shoot. The 27-year-old refused to take off his hat, insisting it instead be digitally edited out of the picture.

On another occasion earlier in the summer, Irving reportedly refused to participate in a team initiative involving the collection of biometric data through wearable technology. It created an awkward moment for players who were accustomed to the routine, sources told MacMullan.

When asked about the reports Tuesday, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson denied he had any concern about Irving, asserting that he, in fact, is "the moody one."

Kevin Durant also defended his new teammate's temperament, contending that the ends justify Irving's means.

"I look at Kyrie as somebody who is an artist," Durant told MacMullan. "You have to leave him alone. You know what he'll bring to the table every night because he cares so much about the game.

"Now, it might not be how other people want him to care about it. He has his way of doing things. I respect who he is and what he does. He has all the intangibles you want in a teammate and a great player. So, how he gets to the point to be ready for 7:30 every night, I'm supporting him 100%."

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