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#pounditSunday, June 26, 2022

Kyrie Irving has odd comment about not making NBA 75 team

Kyrie Irving wearing his Nets uniform

Kyrie Irving definitely thinks that the NBA 75 voters did their own research.

After Wednesday’s win over the New York Knicks, Irving offered a strange comment about the NBA’s 75th Anniversary team, which honored the 75 greatest players in league history. Irving, who was not selected, indicated that he should have been on the list. He said he thought he made it, adding that he would “leave it to the conspiracy theorists” to explain why he didn’t.

Despite Irving’s assertions here, there is no grand conspiracy behind why he didn’t make it. Irving is still only 30 years old, and the only players that age or younger to make the cut were Anthony Davis, who has made multiple All-NBA and All-Defensive First Teams, and Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has won both league MVP and Finals MVP. Irving has never made an All-NBA First Team, has never made an All-Defensive team of any variety, and has never even finished in the top ten in MVP voting. While Irving did hit a massive shot in Game 7 of the 2016 Finals, he still largely rode LeBron James’ coattails to that ring, the only one of Irving’s career thus far.

A counterargument may be that Damian Lillard, one of Irving’s peers who has similar accolades at the same position, made it onto the NBA 75 team while Irving did not. But Lillard has at least made an All-NBA First Team before and also led the franchise that drafted him to a deep playoff run as the main guy (even if he still probably didn’t deserve NBA 75 honors either).

Besides Irving, there are plenty of more deserving candidates who also did not make it. Irving’s story is still being written, and he could easily flip the script with a strong second half of his career. But for now, Irving does not really have much of an argument for why he should have been on that list.

Photo: Feb 1, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

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