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#pounditMonday, March 8, 2021

Rasheed Wallace critical of Kyrie Irving for absence

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving received ample criticism for his recent absence from the Brooklyn Nets, and now that includes respected former NBA veterans too.

Retired big man Rasheed Wallace appeared this week on WFAN’s “Moose & Maggie.” In the interview, Wallace did not hold back on Irving’s situation.

“If it wasn’t something to do with your mom or your kids, I can’t roll with that,” said Wallace. “You saying you need space or whatever – this ain’t the summertime, so for me personally, we gotta talk about that, bro. You have a job you’re still getting paid for. You have an obligation to your teammates. He might’ve talked to the owner, or the coaches or his teammates. But it’s no excuse he shouldn’t have been there.

“I understand the whole thing with social injustice,” Wallace went on. “He has a promise to fulfill to George Floyd’s family and all. But you still have a responsibility to the team. We see him on Zoom meetings for politicians, it can’t be that serious for what you wanna sit out for.”

Irving missed seven games for the Nets with the team going 5-2 over that span. He returned for Wednesday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers and was extremely vague with the media in addressing his absence.

As for Wallace, now 46, he was known for his hijinks on the court, but he walked the walk as well. Wallace appeared in 75 or more games in nine of his NBA seasons. He is also part of a generation who may not be able to relate to the current era of superstar coddling.

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