Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving is in the news for the wrong reasons again. After taking a personal leave from the team, Irving was spotted at what appears to be a family birthday party without a mask on.
Irving, who is away from the Nets for personal reasons, is being investigated by the NBA after a video circulated on the internet of him attending his sister’s birthday party maskless. The NBA’s COVID-19 guidelines forbid players from going to clubs, bars, and lounges and ban attending social gatherings of more than 15 people.
The Nets have no idea when their All-Star floor general is going to practice or play again. While the organization supports Kyrie Irving, members of the front office shouldn’t be that surprised by Uncle Drew’s antics.
Kyrie Irving is one of the most polarizing players in the NBA
Kyrie Irving is one of the best players in the NBA. He has career averages of 22.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 5.7 assists with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, and Nets. The six-time All-Star has insane handles and is an elite scorer from all three areas of the court.
However, Irving is a very polarizing player. Ever since he requested a trade from the Cavs in the summer of 2017 to get away from LeBron James, the former No. 1 overall pick has seen his reputation take a big hit. From saying strange comments like the Earth is flat to lying to Celtics fans about re-signing with the team, Irving’s off-the-court antics have been a huge distraction.
In 2019, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and DeAndre Jordan signed four-year deals with the Nets in free agency. Durant missed the entire 2019-20 season recovering from his Achilles tear, while Irving only played in 20 games due to a shoulder injury. Brooklyn got swept by the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the 2020 playoffs without Durant and Irving, but the team is expected to compete for the championship this season since KD and Kyrie are healthy.
The Nets began the 2020-21 season with back-to-back blowout wins over the Golden State Warriors and Celtics, but things have been downhill since then.
Kevin Durant missed a few games due to COVID-19 protocols
Kevin Durant, who tested positive for COVID-19 in March of 2020, was exposed to a positive COVID-19 case and had to sit out a few games for the Nets. During Durant’s absence, Kyrie Irving left the team for personal reasons. It is widely believed the attack at the US Capitol by Donald Trump supporters played a part in Irving’s decision.
While no one can fault Irving for stepping away from basketball for a little bit following the US Capitol incident, Kyrie’s polarizing reputation has made it easy for his critics to bash him, especially since the former Rookie of the Year hasn’t released a statement regarding his absence from the Nets.
When it’s all said and done, Kyrie Irving will go down as one of the top point guards in NBA history. However, he’s a tough player to get a hold of since he’s always doing things against the norm.
Kyrie Irving was reportedly angry right after winning the title in 2016
Kyrie Irving hit the game-winning shot in Game 7 of the 2016 Finals, helping the Cavs defeat the Golden State Warriors. Cleveland became the first team in NBA history to erase a 3-1 series deficit in The Finals.
While Irving put on a show during the 2016 Finals, he reportedly wasn’t as happy as his Cavs teammates were after the series ended. According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, Irving was actually “angry” following the 2016 Finals.
“He won The Finals and he was angry. He seriously won The Finals, his father and sister came out to hug him and he was angry,” Windhorst said on The Hoop Collective Podcast. “He was mad in that moment. And then, when he got to the locker room, while his teammates were celebrating, he FaceTimed Kobe (Bryant).”
As you can see, Kyrie Irving is a strange dude. The Nets likely knew they were signing up for some drama when they signed Irving in 2019 since his past has been anything but smooth.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.