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#pounditSunday, March 3, 2024

Stephen A. Smith calls on Kyrie Irving to retire

Stephen A. Smith

Kyrie Irving has been away from the Brooklyn Nets since last week for “personal reasons,” and Stephen A. Smith believes the star point guard should consider making the absence permanent.

During Wednesday morning’s edition of ESPN’s “First Take,” Smith called for Irving to retire from the NBA. Smith indicated he believes the only reason Irving hasn’t quit playing is that he wants to collect his paycheck.

“I think Kyrie Irving should retire. I think he should announce his retirement today,” Smith said. “Clearly, you don’t want to play basketball bad enough. … Kyrie Irving has not prioritized basketball. I’m not saying he doesn’t want to play altogether, I’m saying he hasn’t prioritized it. How fair is that to the Brooklyn Nets?”

No one really knows the exact reason Irving has stopped showing up to work. He is clearly in good physical health, however, as he appeared on a politician’s Zoom call on Tuesday night while the Nets were taking on the Denver Nuggets.

On Monday, a video circulated on social media appearing to show Irving indoors at a party with several guests (video here). The Nets and the NBA are investigating the video.

All indications have been that Irving cares more about politics than fulfilling his contractual obligation to the Nets. If he doesn’t want to play basketball anymore, Smith is right — he should retire. There’s no way a player should be able to not show up, give no explanation for his absence, and still collect a check.


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