Skip to main content
Larry Brown Sports Tagline. Brown Bag it, Baby.
#pounditMonday, November 29, 2021

Articles tagged: Kyrie Irving

NBA star has Kyrie Irving extremely high on his list of all-time point guards

Kyrie Irving wearing his Nets uniform

Kyrie Irving was not selected for the NBA’s 75th Anniversary team this year, but one NBA star thinks that Irving is better than many of the greats at the point guard position who did make the cut.

Golden State Warriors veteran Andre Iguodala spoke this week with Sam Amick of The Athletic and revealed that the Brooklyn Nets star Irving is very high on his list of the greatest point guards of all-time. Iguodala has Irving fourth behind only Magic Johnson, Steph Curry, and Isiah Thomas.

“Magic, Steph, Isiah. [They’re] the only guys that I will allow you to say are better than Kyrie,” Iguodala said. “CP [Chris Paul], I’m not mad at, but I’ve got Kyrie. But people will argue that Kyrie hasn’t played enough games.”

When Amick mentioned Steve Nash specifically as a point guard who might be ahead of Irving, Iguodala argued that Nash is “not even nowhere close to Kyrie.” Iguodala added that he could argue that Chauncey Billups or Mark Price were better than Steve Nash.

Irving’s resume is as follows — he is a seven-time All-Star, a three-time All-NBA selection, and an NBA champion. But it is hard to see how that puts him ahead of point guards such as all-time assists and steals leader John Stockton, Hall of Famer and triple-double machine Oscar Robertson, and even do-it-all floor general Jason Kidd. Additionally, players like Nash and Russell Westbrook were MVPs while players like Paul and Gary Payton were All-Defensive selections, neither of which Irving has ever accomplished.

Irving is definitely one of the more skilled offensive players ever, and even his current head coach Nash has sung his praises on the all-time scale. But compared to some of the greats who have played at the point guard position, it is difficult to convincingly argue that Irving is one of the top-four ever.

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

Kyrie Irving could appear in All-Star Game despite absence from Nets?

Kyrie Irving wearing his Nets uniform

Fans hoping to see Kyrie Irving play basketball at least once this season may be in luck.

Brian Lewis of the New York Post reported Sunday that the Brooklyn Nets guard is expected to be on the 2022 NBA All-Star ballot when it is released. Lewis adds that when the league previously updated the voting process, all players on NBA rosters were put on the ballot. Irving is still on the Brooklyn Nets roster, despite not making a single appearance for them this season. Thus, he will be no exception.

The unvaccinated Irving remains away from the Nets. While there was some recent hope that the seven-time All-Star might be able to return in time for the second half of the season, that has since faded away.

Irving has a very devoted following, as we recently saw a big example of. As such, it seems very possible that he could make an unexpected cameo at the 2022 All-Star Game in Cleveland.

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

Kyrie Irving gets bad news about potential return to Nets

Kyrie Irving wearing his Nets uniform

The brief glimmer of hope for Kyrie Irving to return to the court for the Brooklyn Nets this season seems to be fading away.

New York City mayor-elect Eric Adams appeared Friday on CNN and was asked specifically about Irving, who remains ineligible to play due to the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

“New York is not going to change their rules,” said Adams, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “It’s up to the NBA and Kyrie Irving to work something out.”

Adams, who was just elected mayor this week, had hinted at “revisiting” the city’s vaccine mandate enacted by incumbent mayor Bill de Blasio. That led to speculation that Irving might have a pathway to return to the Nets when Adams assumed office in January. But Adams, who is currently the borough president of Brooklyn, was speaking in the context of encouraging de Blasio to reach a deal with local labor unions on the mandate. de Blasio has since done so, striking a deal with four city unions to give unvaccinated workers more time to apply for exemptions.

A January relaxation of the mandate would have given Irving enough time to return for the second half of the NBA season. Instead, the Nets, who are currently 5-3, will have to keep doing without him for the foreseeable future.

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

Jay Williams blasts Stephen A. Smith over Aaron Rodgers comments

Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith was critical of Aaron Rodgers on Thursday for the way the star quarterback misled people about his vaccination status, but Jay Williams was not satisfied with his colleague’s delivery.

During Thursday’s edition of “First Take,” Smith called Rodgers a liar and criticized him for violating the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols for unvaccinated players. He also said Rodgers’ deception hurts his credibility in other areas. You can hear the comments below:

A lot of people were surprised that Smith, who is a big Rodgers fan, came down on the reigning NFL MVP so hard. Williams felt differently. He unloaded on Smith for the way Smith ripped Kyrie Irving for not getting vaccinated compared to how Smith spoke about Rodgers.

Williams seemed to be reaching a bit. Smith is right that it was natural for him to be less animated about Rodgers since those he was discussing the subject with agreed with him. That wasn’t the case when he ripped Irving a few weeks back. Williams defended Irving’s decision to not get vaccinated, which led to a heated debate between him and Smith. You can see that video here.

Of course, the idea of “First Take” is for Smith to argue with his co-hosts. Williams was just doing his part.

Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and will miss Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. He was asked over the summer if he is vaccinated, and he said he has been “immunized.” We’ve since learned that he was referring to a homeopathic treatment he received.

Kyrie Irving has pathway to returning to Nets in January?

Kyrie Irving wearing his Nets uniform

Kyrie Irving remains away from the Brooklyn Nets, but that could possibly change once the calendar flips to 2022.

Speaking this week on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” New York City mayor-elect Eric Adams vowed to “revisit” the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates once he takes office on Jan. 1. The Democratic politician beat Republican candidate Curtis Sliwa in New York City’s mayoral election this week and will replace incumbent mayor Bill de Blasio.

“We need to revisit how we are going to address the vaccine mandates,” said Adams, per the New York Post. “Now, I stated I did not want to Monday-morning-quarterback the mayor. This is his time to be the man, he has to make the decisions.

“I hope the mayor — and I am encouraging him to do that — sit[s] down with unions and come[s] to a resolution,” Adams added. “And if he doesn’t, if this is still going to January, I’m going to sit down with them and we’re going to get this resolved.”

The unvaccinated Irving is currently ineligible to play in Nets’ home games due to the local mandates. The team has decided not to accommodate the seven-time All-Star as a part-time player this season either. It has been a contentious saga, as pro-Irving protestors recently even converged on the Nets’ home arena.

Brooklyn is treading water right now at 4-3 in Irving’s absence. They have 30 more games to play in between now and Jan. 1, but perhaps this marks new hope that Irving can return in time for the second half of the season.

H/T NJ.com

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

Nets owner speaks on his conversations with Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving wearing his Nets uniform

Much has been made of the relationship between Kyrie Irving and Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai. Now Tsai is speaking on the recent conversations that he has had with the absent Nets star.

Tsai told NetsDaily on Friday that he has had multiple conversations with Irving but has tried not to evangelize.

“I have all the patience in the world with Kyrie,” added Tsai. “He’s on the roster, just not on the court.”

Tsai then reiterated that he would welcome Irving back if he got vaccinated. He also said that while he respects the seven-time All-Star’s decision, he does not really understand it.

Irving’s decision to remain unvaccinated continues to keep him away from the Nets. The team has gone just 2-3 in his absence this season and really seems to be lacking a certain explosiveness without Irving’s offensive punch.

There were recent rumors claiming that Tsai has been fed up with Irving for a while now. While he cannot be happy about Irving’s continued absence, these comments from Tsai do sound a bit more sympathetic.

Video: Pro-Kyrie Irving protestors converge on Barclays Center

Kyrie Irving wearing his Nets uniform

The Brooklyn Nets held their home opener against the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday but not without experiencing some unexpected commotion first.

Prior to the afternoon tip-off at Barclays Center, a large group of protestors gathered outside of the arena to protest New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Nets guard Kyrie Irving, who is ineligible to play in home games due to the mandates, became a rallying cry for the group. They could be heard chanting, “Let Kyrie play.”

You can see video of the chaotic scene outside of the arena here but beware of foul language.

The protestors then began jumping barricades and pushing toward the front entrance. Barbara Barker of Newsday shared video from inside the arena.

Arena personnel eventually got the situation under control, and the game was able to proceed as scheduled.

The last that we heard of the Irving situation was from the seven-time All-Star himself. He took to Instagram Live to address his decision to remain unvaccinated as well as the speculation over his future. But it looks like Irving still has plenty of New Yorkers who are sympathetic to his cause.

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

Look: Charles Barkley has amazing reaction to Kenny Smith defending Kyrie

Charles Barkley reaction face

Doc Rivers may be the NBA’s king of flabbergasted reactions. But Charles Barkley appears to be coming for his throne.

As the new NBA season tipped off on Tuesday, TNT’s “Inside the NBA” crew gave their takes on the Kyrie Irving-Brooklyn Nets situation. Barkley’s co-host, Kenny “The Jet” Smith, defended Irving, saying that he understood the All-Star guard’s choice to remain unvaccinated as long Irving was willing to accept the consequences. The camera then panned to Barkley, who delivered a priceless reaction by staring blankly into the void as Smith spoke. Take a look:

Needless to say, Barkley was of the exact opposite opinion. After Smith was done, Barkley proceeded to skewer Irving, saying, “You don’t get the vaccine for yourself. You get it for other people.” He also said that Irving should not be getting paid $17 million this season to sit at home and blasted the recent comparisons of Irving to the late Muhammad Ali.

The Nets tipped off the season against the Milwaukee Bucks without Irving, losing by the lopsided final score of 127-104. The team has decided not to accommodate Irving, who is ineligible to play in home games, as a part-time player this season. That means that Brooklyn could be without Irving for the entire year unless he suddenly decides to get vaccinated.

The outspoken Barkley clearly does not agree with the way that Irving is handling his business here. This is also far from the first time that Barkley has gone in on the former No. 1 overall pick on national television.

ESPN’s Jay Williams received death wishes after defending Kyrie Irving

Jay Williams

Jay Williams and Stephen A. Smith got into a heated debate this week over Kyrie Irving’s decision to not get the COVID-19 vaccine, and Williams says people have wished death upon him over the stance he took.

During Wednesday’s edition of ESPN’s “First Take,” Smith was critical of Irving for leaving the Brooklyn Nets hanging by choosing not to get vaccinated. Williams, who said he is pro-vaccine, defended Irving’s right to make a personal decision and do what he feels is right for him and his family. You can see the argument below:

Williams posted an emotional video on Instagram this week in which he revealed that people have told him he doesn’t deserve to live because of his take on Irving.

“You know the crazy s— people say to me on the internet when they disagree with my opinion? … ‘Go hit a pole. Go die again. Duke’s education…’ All this stuff,” Williams said. “Thank god I went through that experience, because I don’t need other people to justify how I think about myself.”

Williams, of course, was a star at Duke and taken with the second overall pick by the Chicago Bulls in the 2002 NBA Draft. He suffered severe injuries in a motorcycle crash in 2003 that ultimately cost him his playing career.

Williams also doubled down on his defense of Irving.

“Kyrie Irving doesn’t owe you anything. He doesn’t owe you a response on your timeline. He doesn’t owe you answers that you feel like you need,” Williams said. “Everybody says, ‘Oh, the NBA season starts in five days.’ Who gives a damn.”

Here’s the full video from Williams:

Almost everyone has an opinion on the Irving situation. There has been speculation that Irving could retire, and the star point guard responded to that this week. Irving has given no indication that he will change his vaccine stance. If he does not, he likely won’t play at all this season.

Kyrie Irving’s ex-Cavs teammate comes out in support of him

Kyrie Irving wearing his Nets uniform

Kyrie Irving is getting some love from a prominent former teammate amid the recent firestorm that he has generated.

Ex-Cleveland Cavalier JR Smith tweeted a supportive message to Irving on Thursday. “Extremely proud of you bro!” Smith wrote. He also included a GIF with the message, “If we support one another, we rise together!”

Irving and Smith were teammates on the Cavs for two seasons from 2015 to 2017. They were the starting backcourt for Cleveland’s title team in 2016.

Irving’s decision to be unvaccinated, which for now will prevent him from playing for the Brooklyn Nets in the 2021-22 season, has created significant division in recent weeks. The seven-time All-Star took to Instagram Live on Wednesday to address the situation for himself.

As for Smith, he has not always gotten along with Irving in the past. But he clearly believes that Irving is on the right side of the aisle here.

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