When discussing the game of basketball, there are few players better than Kyrie Irving. Just 6 games into his NBA season, the guard is averaging 30.5 PPG on 48 percent from the field. Even more impressively, Irving is shooting 60 percent inside the arc. However, a lot of times with Kyrie Irving, the conversation is not surrounded by what’s on the court. The NBA star is known not only for his unique play, but also being expressive of his views. Kyrie is a controversial figure, but this time he might’ve crossed the line. Whenever your owner immediately releases a personal statement on Twitter, something is wrong.
Kyrie Irving goes too far on social media
Following another loss on Saturday, Kyrie Irving’s press conference did not focus on basketball. Earlier that day, Irving took to Twitter and posted a link to a book/film titled “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America”. The film released in 2018 is known most for its anti-semetic themes, and harmful conspiracy theores. This controversial post came a month after posting a clip from controversial news figure Alex Jones. Jones, the conspiracy theorist who called the Sandy Hook shootings a ‘hoax’ is also not exactly ideal content to be sharing. Especially when Kyrie Irving’s platform is one of great influence. When questioned about the post on social media by reporters, not only did Irving not apologize, but rather, doubled down.
In one breath, Kyrie Irving acknowledged that he understands his inflence he has. He understands he has influence, stating “I’m in a unique position to have a level of influence on my community”. He also stated that he only makes posts “for his people” and that anyone with criticism, that it “clearly wasn’t meant for them”. Irving acknowledges controversies, but states he doesn’t have to stand with the entire project. Unfortunately for Kyrie, that’s not how social media works. Posting that film is a direct endorsement from Irving, with him giving more eyes to these theories. Whether he intended to or not, is entirely irrelevant. Actions have both intended, and unintended consequences.
Irving comes off as dismissive, egotistical, and disconnected
In the next question, Irving directly contradicts his statement on influence with a bizarre quote. “There’s things being posted every day, I am no different than the next human being so don’t treat me any different.” What Kyrie Irving doesn’t understand is that there are consequences for his actions, just like ‘the next human being’. Irving then states “You guys come in here and make up this powerful influence that I have” when stating just 2 minutes ago that he has powerful influence. Not only does it come off as contradictory, it just comes off as straight delusion. Irving wants open discussion, then immediately dismisses the backlash to his irresponsible and uneducated posts.
The most tense moment of the conference game when Irving was challenged by ESPN’s Nick Friedell. When asked about his promotion of an Alex Jones clip, Irving made it clear he does not endorse Alex Jones. He does, however, stand by the ideologies shared in the clip, and then argued with Friedell over wording. Even for a player with a contentious relationship with the media, this was outright obscene. He mocked Friedell’s challenge like a toddler with their sibling, and instead of letting the issue linger, caused more controversy. It has been almost seven years since Kyrie Irving won his lone championship ring. And since leaving Cleveland, Irving has won just 11 playoff games. He has only played 89 career games since joining the Nets in 2019.
Where has Kyrie Irving Been?
After hitting the series sealing shot over Kyrie Irving in the 2016 finals, Kyrie’s career has been underwhelming. He has brought controversy to every locker room he’s been in, and now is no different. This time, however, the Nets aren’t willing to cover these issues. And even though Irving continues to produce on the offensive end, it doesn’t make up for his off-court headaches. Even companies like Nike are reportedly looking to end their relationship with the superstar. And after not extending him when given the chance this offseason, the Nets seemingly are looking to do the same. Even Kevin Durant wanted to be traded somewhere else for a fresh start, and didn’t want Kyrie to come along.
When Kyrie Irving is playing basketball, there are few things that can be questioned. But when Irving steps up to a podium, he can’t escape his own messes. If Kyrie puts his mind onto winning basketball and helping the Nets improve, he will be in the right direction. However, at some point, enough needs to be enough. And this is the latest in episodes from the most controversial player in the National Basketball Association.
Follow Sean on Twitter at seanhalfcourt and also on YouTube. Also Follow Woodward Pistons.
Featured Image Credit: Wendell Cruz USA Today Sports