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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Articles tagged: Kyrie Irving

Stephen A. Smith criticizes Kyrie Irving, Dwight Howard for not wanting NBA season

Stephen A Smith

Kyrie Irving and Dwight Howard have been the most recognizable faces leading a movement to potentially cancel the remainder of the NBA season, and Stephen A. Smith strongly disagrees with the stance of the two star players.

Smith said on ESPN’s “Get Up!” Monday morning that he believes players sitting out the NBA season because they are concerned about taking away from social justice movements would be a huge mistake.

“That’s not a reason not to show up to work,” Smith said. “The fact that racial oppression has existed — it’s going to exist after this summer, it’s going to exist next year, it’s going to exist the year after, a year from now, ten years from now, 20 years from now. Anybody in our society that thinks this thing is going to be completely eradicated is fooling themselves. You’re always going to have to deal with these things, so that is not an excuse not to show up to work to do your job. You can fight the fight while still showing up to work.”

Smith seems to agree with LeBron James, as LeBron reportedly feels he can make a difference in society while also playing basketball. Irving, Howard and others worry that resuming the NBA season will undermine George Floyd protests and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Irving organized a conference call for players on Friday night to discuss the concerns some players have. Howard has said he thinks playing basketball would be a “distraction” at the moment, though he has not made a decision about playing.

While there have been ongoing discussions among players and between players and the league, it does not sound like the resumption of the NBA season is in jeopardy. The more likely outcome is that players will get together to decide how they want to show solidarity in supporting social justice causes.

Austin Rivers explains disagreement with Kyrie Irving over Orlando plan

Kyrie Irving is leading the charge against the NBA’s restart plan, suggesting that he would sit out as a form of protest against racism and injustice. One of his fellow players understands his reasons, but doesn’t think Irving would be doing the movement any good by following through.

Austin Rivers posted a social media reply on Saturday questioning whether Irving’s proposal for players to refuse to play would actually have its desired effect. Rivers noted that by showing up, NBA players would receive their salaries — money they could use to fight injustice. He also added that not every player was making as much money as Irving and some would face a tougher choice between fighting injustice and their livelihood.

Rivers makes a lot of excellent points here and gives those in Irving’s camp something to think about. While some are concerned that the return of the league could distract from the ongoing protests, that seems less likely if players continue to find ways to raise awareness and protest themselves.

Irving is passionate about fighting racism and injustice, and that was clear on his call with other players. But there’s a lot to consider here about the best way NBA players can help that movement. It’s a discussion they’re continuing to have even as the restart draws closer.

Kyrie Irving does not support Orlando plan, willing to give up everything

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving made his stance on NBA matters clear during a call with several players Friday night, according to a report.

Irving has been described by reports on Friday as a “disruptor” and driving force against the NBA’s plan to return to action in Orlando.

Despite voting in favor of the NBA’s plan to resume the 2019-2020 season in Orlando next month, Irving has been raising concerns about and reportedly led a call on Friday aimed at talking about those concerns.

“I don’t support going into Orlando. I’m not with the systematic racism and the bulls—. Something smells a little fishy,” Irving said on the call, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Charania reports that Irving said on the call that he was “willing to give up everything” for social reform.

Several players apparently spoke up about not supporting the resumed season due to social issues.

Players who do not want to play in the resumed season do not have to, according to terms of the agreement between the players and owners. Several top NBA players have warned of significant financial consequences should the season not be resumed. Such consequences would be born by all players, not just Irving. Irving did say he would go along with what the players chose.

Irving is in his first season with the Brooklyn Nets but only played in 20 games. He is out for the season with a shoulder injury.

Report: Kyrie Irving has been two-faced about Orlando plan concerns

Kyrie Irving Nets

Kyrie Irving was named on Friday as a “driving force” behind questions regarding the NBA’s plan to resume the 2019-2020 season in Orlando next month.

Though Irving may be rallying some players who feel their voice was not heard loudly enough when the Orlando plan was agreed to by both the players and owners, there are some players who apparently are bothered by what they feel has been a duplicitous approach from the Brooklyn Nets guard.

According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Irving was among the two dozen-plus team representatives who were part of a conference call a week ago about restarting the season. Woj’s report says that Irving mostly asked “mundane” questions, such as whether an injured player like him would count towards the Nets’ amount of people in the “bubble” and whether NBA sponsors would be allowed on campus.

Irving is a union representative for the Nets and a vice president on the executive board for the players association. The vote on restarting the season was unanimous — 28-0. That’s what apparently has left many players confused by Irving seemingly working against the restart.

Irving is said to be a driving force on questioning the optics of a restarted season and rallying the not as high-profile players to consider these and other concerns.

Many of the high-profile players have great concerns about the long-term consequences to not restarting the season. For example, the financial implications would be significant.

If the season were not restarted, the players would lose:
– 25 percent of their salaries for this season
– 10 percent more that is held in escrow amounts

Not only that, but next season’s total revenue pie would be less, which would hurt everyone involved, including the players. Some agents also fear that the owners would respond by locking the players out and giving them less favorable financial terms on the split of Basketball Related Income, which is 50-50.

In other words, while Irving may be intending to give many other players a voice, there are severe consequences if they want to cancel the rest of the season that should also be heavily considered.

Report: Kyrie Irving a driving force behind raising concerns over bubble plan

Kyrie Irving Nets

There have been ongoing reports this week saying that some NBA players have concerns about the league’s plans to resume the season in Orlando next month. One player who is expressing some of these concerns reportedly is Kyrie Irving.

Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck reported on Friday that Irving has been a “driving force” in organizing calls among players and raising concerns about the league’s bubble plan.

The league’s owners and players have agreed to a plan for a resumption of the season in Orlando. Despite the agreement, some players are raising concerns over issues such as public optics. The agreement allows players the option not to participate in the resumed season.

Irving, 28, is in his first season with the Brooklyn Nets but will not be participating in the resumed season as he recovers from shoulder surgery. He played in 20 games this season. Irving is a vice president on the NBPA’s executive committee and player representative for the Brooklyn Nets.

Austin Rivers tells great story about an unknown Kyrie Irving surprising everyone at a camp

Kyrie Irving Nets

Kyrie Irving was a one-and-done player at Duke and became the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. You figure a guy like that was long heralded as a top prospect, but according to Austin Rivers, Irving was unknown to many for a while.

Rivers had Sam Cassell as a guest on his “Go Off” podcast and told the story of how Irving showed up at a Deron Williams Skills Academy camp several years ago and stunned everyone.

Keep in mind that Irving was a class ahead of Rivers in school, and Rivers — possibly due to his father Doc being a well-known coach — was hyped as a recruit. This camp probably took place in the late 2000s

“We were there. It was all the top-ranked guys — Brandon Knight, Dion Waiters, Josh Selby, anybody you could name, John Wall, all these guys were there. And I remember they had this kid Kyrie. I think it was in New Jersey, where he’s from. They brought in a local kid. He was the local kid. He wasn’t even supposed to be there. He was like the kid they brought. So they brought in Kyrie. There were only like 20 of us — it was very intimate,” Rivers recalls.

Rivers says they then began doing some drills, and that’s when Irving started to shine and command attention.

“Kyrie gets in the one-on-one drill and starts wearing out everybody. Everyone’s like, ‘who the —-?’ I’ve never heard of this guy’s name. I’m like ‘who the hell is this dude?’”

“So Deron Williams hops in the game. Mind you this is his camp, he was an All-Star during that time. They’re going back and forth. Kyrie’s hitting him with some s—.”

Rivers says Irving’s domination at that academy helped the future No. 1 pick get on the map and says Kyrie soon “blew up” after that in notoriety.

Irving eventually went to Duke but only played 11 games due to a foot injury. He became the No. 1 pick in 2012 by the Cavs and eventually teamed with LeBron James to help them win a championship. Now Irving is teaming up with Kevin Durant on the Nets in a move they had planned for a bit.

H/T Clutch Points

Kyrie Irving sounds ready for a return to basketball

Kyrie Irving Nets

Kyrie Irving is anticipating a return to basketball.

The Brooklyn Nets point guard said on Instagram that he “can’t wait to be back out there destroying people.”

The NBA season was suspended in March, but teams are beginning to open practice facilities next week as a step towards a possible return. Irving probably won’t be playing though even if the season resumes.

The 28-year-old point guard is recovering from shoulder surgery he underwent in early March. One doctor, speaking in generalities about shoulder impingement but not specific to Irving, said he felt the recovery could take six months.

The Nets should be good when next season begins since they are expecting to have Irving and Kevin Durant finally on the floor together.