Since being selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 1 overall pick out of Duke in 2011, Kyrie Irving has been an anomaly on the basketball court. His handles have been second to none, and he has now been slicing up defender’s ankles for nearly a decade. But off the floor, things are not all peachy.
Not Ready To Come To Orlando?
It is very clear that basketball is not the most important thing in the world to hoopers around the league right now. From those making big dollars to those on rookie deals and smaller-scale contracts, they’re focused on using their platform for justice.
With everything that has happened in the world over the past month, positive change is beginning to happen because these athletes are speaking out against racial injustice and have been attending protests. But the league finally came to an agreement on a return to play beginning at the end of July, with teams heading to Orlando in the coming weeks.
Irving, who will not be suiting up for the Nets as his shoulder continues to heal, has said that he is ready to risk it all and is willing to “never play another NBA game.” He said this on behalf of the cause, but in this case, the comments are being seen in a different context.
He’s not looking to use his platform as an elite hooper with people that want to listen and seems as if he wants to do this off the floor. Whether or not this has to do with the fact that he’s hurt and not playing, we’re not sure. But, the best thing he can do is speak with the media after games, playing or not, and give his word.
As the vice president of the players’ association, his voice speaks for many others. So everything he says carries a lot.
The Group Chat
It is no secret that Irving has made some questionable off-the-floor decisions in the past few years. From questioning the efforts of his Celtics teammates to committing to re-sign in Boston and not working hard enough for the fit to be a hand-in-glove type.
He even took to calling out Nets teammates as he was hurt earlier this year, naming guys that he sees as part of the team’s future. To openly state that certain teammates of yours shouldn’t be there long-term is just crazy. And while this is just a rumor, the latest: A group chat with Nets teammates.
Irving “reportedly’ said to his team in a group chat that they could start their own league rather than play in the NBA. There weren’t too many other specifics, but that detail in and of itself is jaw-dropping.
Just what is he trying to accomplish with that? Adam Silver is encouraging all of the players to use this platform to its fullest. And to hold nothing back.
Teammates Chris Chiozza and Theo Pinson have refuted that this ever happened with public tweets, with Spencer Dinwiddie (active Twitter user) not paying it much mind. Whether or not this really happened is for us to wonder about right now. But given his checkered background to making statements like this, it isn’t crazy.
What’s Next For Kyrie
For all of this negative press he has received, Irving is just doing his job as VP of the player’s association. He was elected by his peers, so they entrusted statements like this to him. They are coming up with declarations, and he’s just speaking for the masses.
He’ll be on the court again when next season begins. And he’ll likely be traveling with his team to Disney World. It won’t be long before we hear his next statement. So buckle up.