Kyrie Irving, Steve Nash impressed by Mike James’ Nets debut

2021-04-24T17:24:01+00:00 2021-04-24T17:30:58+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

24/Apr/21 17:24

Irving and Nash had only the best to say for James first game with the Nets.

By Antonis Stroggylakis /

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving really enjoyed what he saw from his new teammate Mike James during the latter’s debut appearance with the team and first NBA game since 2018.

“As you could see from some of my reactions on the sidelines, I was really impressed,” Irving said when asked what did he like from James’ performance in the win over the Boston Celtics.. Irving was seen celebrating some of James’ baskets quite vividly. “We just want him to fill in as best he can. Just feel comfortable, [we] welcome him with open arms. We got a few games. Just want to get him acclimated, just go out there to have fun.”

James jumped on the court off the bench late in the first period and proceeded to play 21 minutes, finishing with eight points (4-9 shots), two rebounds, two assists and no turnovers. He opened the count with a hard 3-pointer from the corner and added a couple of tough, high-skilled shots in the second half, plays that were quite familiar to those who were watching him in EuroLeague action.

“I thought he did great,” Nets coach Steve Nash commented. “It’s not an easy position to come in and meet your teammates for the first time and play an NBA game on national television.”

Apart from James’ own scoring potency, Nash commended how his guard can influence the overall offensive game of the team, particularly by attracting the opposing defense to generate opportunities and extra looks for the rest of the Nets on the floor.

“He’s been in the league before obviously and he’s had a terrific season in Europe,” Nash added. “We know he’s a talented player. He obviously can score the ball but I was really impressed with his pace, the ability to draw and kick, make the offense run faster and just create openings for his teammates.”

The Nets announced the 10-day contract with James Friday (23/4). Before he joined Brooklyn, the American guard was a leading candidate for EuroLeague MVP, averaging 19.3 points, 5.7 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 31:10 with CSKA Moscow.

Photo: Getty Images