Skip to main content

Nassir Little’s hustle play shows he doesn’t care who Kyrie Irving is

Nassir Little & Kyrie Irving

An incident between Kyrie Irving and Nassir Little stirred up debates online

When do we call a basketball play borderline dirty? If you asked me, it depends on the situation. The aggrieved party will always claim it as an unnecessary play, while the instigator will, for the most part, deny its motive. In the Portland-Brooklyn game, an incident between Kyrie Irving and Nassir Little stirred up debates online: was it dirty or necessary?

Nassir Little answers Kyrie Irving’s postgame comments

Irving just returned from a lengthy absence in the NBA due to his vaccination stance, but he has already started some drama on the court. Nassir Little dove for the ball in the 4th quarter of the game between the Nets and Blazers. He made contact with Kyrie, who had to jump over to avoid stepping on him, but Irving awkwardly landed on his back. He laid on the court for quite some time but fortunately did not suffer any injuries. He was able to finish the game, which the Trail Blazers ended up winning. 

Irving did not appreciate the move, who described it as bad play and unnecessary in the postgame interviews.

“I get Nassir wants to go for the ball but, it’s just like, bro, it’s just a bad play,” Irving said. “It’s all good. I could’ve broken my ankle or done something worse. There’s just no place in our game for it. I get the intent from Nassir ... But it couldn’t been avoided.”

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Nassir, the man accused of the dirty play, fired back at the Nets star and claimed he doesn’t care about anyone as long as he’s just doing his job. 

“I would never hurt someone on purpose, I have the utmost respect for Kyrie! But y’all are delusional if you think this is a bad play, and id do it again. Idgaf what y’all talkin about.”

Is Irving right to call it a dirty play?

To put some context on the topic, Portland was up five points with more than five minutes remaining in the 4th quarter. At this point, it’s still anyone’s ball game. So it’s understandable that Little had to dive for the loose ball; they had a chance to beat one of the best teams in the league. Also, in that play, the combo guard still had a chance to save it. Replays showed he touched the ball before going out of bounds. 

When explained in football terms, Little dangerously tackled Irving, which could have ended badly, but he went for the ball, which makes the play valid. That’s a basketball play. Nassir has no history of deliberately hurting other players either. A quick look on his Spotrac page tells us he is on the last year of his rookie contract, which the club exercised. This means he is eligible to make $4.1 million next season. His current salary for this year is $2.3 million. Simply put, the guy is just trying to earn a contract. 

As a role player, one of his tasks is to make the little plays that don’t show on the stats sheet; the hustle plays that no star player wants to do. Meanwhile, Irving has already earned millions and could retire anytime. He probably felt it was unnecessary because it could have ended his much-awaited return to the league prematurely. 

Losing Irving to an injury would be devastating to the fans and Brooklyn. He might have overreacted to the play, calling it dirty, but he also needs to adjust his views on the game. Players do this for a living, and they get paid to do their thing, even if that means unintentionally hurting other players in the process. Kyrie Irving is not exempted from such incidents and should not expect to be given special treatments. 

Kevon Looney and the Golden State Warriors are going big to take down the Dallas Mavericks

Kevon Looney and the Golden State Warriors are going big to take down the Dallas Mavericks

The Mavs going small has allowed Looney to eat, and his success in the paint on both ends of the floor is a big reason the series stands at 2-0

Devin Booker suffered devastating losses in the finals and playoffs. Fortunately, he has more than enough reasons to try again

Can Devin Booker redeem himself and his reputation after another playoff meltdown?

Devin Booker suffered devastating losses in the finals and playoffs. Fortunately, he has more than enough reasons to try again.

Amare Stoudemire questions Tyler Herro’s focus: He wants all this entertainment stuff, but where is the focus on basketball?

Amare Stoudemire questions Tyler Herro’s focus: "He wants all this entertainment stuff, but where is the focus on basketball?

Herro won the 6th Man of the Year but he's struggling in these playoffs. Amare Stoudemire questions where his focus is right now.

Marcus Smart’s importance to the Boston Celtics is becoming hard to overlook

Marcus Smart’s importance to the Boston Celtics is becoming hard to overlook

Smart has always been a solid defensive player, but his offensive strides have allowed him to become the player the Celtics need

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and Robert Horry

Robert Horry explains why Damian Lillard is the greatest clutch player in history

Putting Jordan in the fifth spot is enough to get Horry in trouble.

NBA commissioner David Stern and Chicago Bulls forward Dennis Rodman

When David Stern threatened to kick Dennis Rodman out of the league for having too many tattoos

Rodman's reaction tells you everything you need to know about The Worm.

Team Lebron forward Lebron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and guard Dwayne Wade

Dwyane Wade says that God gave LeBron James everything except a robust hairline

Dwyane Wade believes God was fair enough to take one thing away from LeBron James.