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#pounditFriday, May 7, 2021

Stephen A. Smith suggests Kyrie Irving should give Nets some money back

Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith has been critical of Kyrie Irving this season for the time Irving has spent away from the Brooklyn Nets, and the ESPN personality hinted on Monday that he believes the team deserves at least a partial refund for it.

The Nets’ game against the Timberwolves has been postponed in the wake of an officer-involved shooting that led to rioting in Minnesota. Irving was not going to play in the game anyway, as Brooklyn announced on Sunday that he would miss it for personal reasons. Before the game was postponed, Smith criticized Irving on “First Take” for missing so many games.

“You didn’t want people to play in the bubble because you wanted folks to focus on other issues, and it turns out you’ve got your own issues, whatever they may be. … We all hope that everything and everybody is OK, but I don’t recall Kyrie at any point saying, ‘Here’s your money back. You don’t have to pay me,'” Smith said.

“You’re missing games at your discretion. How many personal days do you need? You don’t play every day. You’ve got 72 games this year instead of 82. You only played 20 of the 72 games last year. What the h-ll is going on where you’re just missing games?”

The Nets had said Irving would miss Monday’s game for personal reasons/family matter. Smith acknowledged that the reason is slightly different from his previous absences, but he said his point remains.

Smith openly wondered earlier this year why Irving doesn’t retire. He obviously disagrees with Kyrie taking so much personal time off, and he isn’t the only one.

Irving was ejected from Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers. It was the first ejection of his career. You can see the video here.

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