NBA star Kyrie Irving opted not to play during the NBA restart. He, along with other players, decided not to play for various reasons. Just like the NBA, players from the WNBA opted not to play as well.
Irving decided that he’s going to help those WNBA players who opted out in a big way financially.
Kyrie Irving has become an elite point guard
Over his NBA career, Irving has transformed into one of the top point guards in the league. When Irving came into the league as a rookie, he quickly established himself as a true point guard. He averaged 18.5 points and 5.4 assists and was named the 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year. After his rookie season, Irving continued to take his game to the next level. The next season he made his first All-Star team and ended the season averaging 22.5 points, 5.9 assists, and 3.7 rebounds.
Irving displayed excellent ball-handling abilities, and he could get to the rim and finish through contact. He quickly became a leader on the court early on in his NBA career. Irving displayed a level of maturity on the court during his early years, and he gained a lot of respect from players and coaches. Throughout his career, Irving became a dominant point guard. Playing on a Cleveland Cavaliers team that struggled, Irving was always the bright spot on the team. When Lebron James joined the Cavaliers again in 2014, Irving finally received the help that he needed. With the addition of Kevin Love and a cast of role players, the Cavaliers became one of the top teams in the league.
With Irving at the point guard, he understands how to control the game’s tempo and make the right plays. During the 2016 NBA Finals, Irving played a significant role to help the Cavaliers when their first title in franchise history. He has made many big plays and shots during his career. Though Irving has had his fair share of injuries, he’s still one of the most efficient point guards in the league, and next season, when he and Kevin Durant are healthy, the Brooklyn Nets will be a title-contending team.
Kyrie Irving is someone who uses his platform to help create change
Professional athletes have a significant voice in the world, especially those who are superstars in their respected sports. Irving is not a player who only focuses on the sport that he plays. He’s aware of what’s going on in the world, and he’s someone who wants to help out in any way that he can.
Irving made it clear that he was not going to come back and play in light of the social injustice that’s been going on in previous months. He’s one player that is not afraid to speak what’s on his mind. Though some people may not agree with Irving’s views on certain topics, he still believes in change. Now, Irving will make a change in the lives of numerous WNBA players.
Kyrie Irving committing $1.5 million to help WNBA players who opted out of the season
The WNBA season began on Saturday at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Some players decided not to play for various reasons. It could be coronavirus related or social justice reasons. Irving wants to make sure that some of the players sitting the season out do not have to worry about financial problems.
An ESPN article stated that Irving will commit $1.5 million to supplement the income of players who chose not to play this season. The funds will come from the KAI Empowerment Initiative that Irving started. “Whether a person decided to fight for social justice, play basketball, focus on physical or mental health, or simply connect with their families, this initiative can hopefully support their priorities and decisions,” Irving said in a statement.
The top annual salary in the WNBA is a little more than $200,000, according to ESPN. For players to be eligible for the program, they must provide reasoning to their decision of deciding not to play. Players can receive more information at the KAI Empowerment Initiative website, and they need to apply by Aug. 11. Even though he’s not playing, Irving is still impacting lives out here, and he’s using his platform to help others.