Kyrie Irving's leadership and attitude often questioned when his durability and toughness are the real problem

Rick Laughland

Just google Kyrie Irving and dozens and dozens of articles about his poor attitude or lack of leadership will litter your screen. Meanwhile, Irving, 27, 150 games due to rest and injury of a possible 667 contest or roughly 22.4 percent of his career games.

It's a whopping stat that isn't talked about enough. The New Jersey native goes to the rim with reckless abandonments and sometimes at his own peril. 

With multiple facial fractures knee injuries and scars to prove it, why aren't fans question whether Irving will survive the dings and bruises he'll collect over the 82-game schedule? 

Teammates have had nothing but positive things to say about the floor general and his numbers this season are at a MVP-level. The Nets are top 5 in the NBA in scoring and Irving is top 10 in the NBA in assists. So when you combed through the numbers, interview his teammates, coaches and team personnel, everything checks out alright. For the first time in his career, Irving has landed in a destination that he hand-picked. 

He's playing with an edge and determination that was absent from his two years in Boston, a place where he was simply dumped by the Cavs in order to get Isaiah Thomas. The reality is, Irving is a strange cat, with a different outlook on life and perhaps testy relationships with the media, but his leadership and attitude haven't been the problem this year. 

The problem is he's not on the court for his fourth straight game on Friday night against the Kings and even during the preseason he suffered a facial fracture during practice that forced him to wear a mask and miss time. Whether it's picking and choosing his spots to attack or working with trainers on gaining more pliability and flexibility, something has to be done to improve Irving's lack of durability on the court and his knack for missing significant time during the regular season.