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Kyrie Irving eager to ‘build camaraderie’ during Nets’ road trip

The Brooklyn Nets are set to embark upon a five-game road trip later this week, and Kyrie Irving believes it will serve as a great opportunity to build team chemistry and camaraderie.

The Nets (3-4) open the lengthy trip against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday. The team then faces the Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets. The trip closes with a showdown with the Chicago Bulls next Saturday.

“Five teams that are pretty good in our league,” Irving said of the upcoming opponents, via Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “A great test to go on the road trip for that long. Obviously there’s nothing like being at home, but that’s really where you come together as a group. You want to come out with a winning record. Take those opportunities to play on other organizations’ floors or going against other good guys in our league.”

There have been parallel yet conflicting narratives concerning how well Irving is fitting in early on during his first season with the Nets. Initially, the Nets praised Irving for setting the right tone upon his arrival.

Then in late October, a report surfaced that suggested the Nets were already growing concerned over Irving’s “mood swings” and “funks,” behavior that he is said to have begun exhibiting during the team’s trip to China.

While the Nets vehemently disputed the veracity of the reporting, anyone who has followed Irving’s career recognizes it has been plagued by allegations of this kind of mercurial behavior.

Despite the backdrop of purported, behind-the-scenes drama, Irving — who defiantly bristled at the allegations — hopes the road trip is not only successful but results in the team becoming a more tightly knit unit.

“You just look forward to that challenge, just use the time to build team camaraderie, obviously spending some time in those cities,” Irving said. “All we have is each other. We have our significant others sometimes on the trips, but for the most part it’s just us.”