Anyone surprised or shocked is a fool. While his teammates were playing the Nuggets, Kyrie Irving appeared to have been on a Zoom call set up by Tahani Aboushi, a candidate for Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
So, what do we know for now? Kyrie missed the last four games due to “personal reasons,” and the Nets did not know why at first (and maybe still don’t know) – dude just didn’t show up. The Nets believe he won’t play in any of the remaining games this week, and “there is a concern that Nets superstar guard Kyrie Irving ‘won’t be back anytime soon,’” (via Ian Begley). Irving was recorded at a party (most likely his sister’s birthday party) without a mask in what seemed to be an event prohibited by the league’s COVID protocol and is under investigation for that. But let’s keep in mind, Kyrie is an artist, and we are all pawns. Sarcastic Stephen A. is my favorite Stephen A.
Irving said the Earth was flat, promised the Celtics he would stay and then followed that up with “I don’t owe anyone sh**,” informed us he is a coach and doesn’t see Steve Nash as one, said he was Kevin Durant in his past life, connected to Nikola Tesla through meditation, and praised his own intellect about basketball and life on many occasions. This latest episode is as consistent as it gets with Kyrie.
Look, if Nets owner Joseph Tsai is OK with paying $33.4 million to attend Zoom calls and parties, that’s his money to burn. If I were a Nets fan or a season ticket holder, I’d make a phone call. Particularly after Sean Marks’ statement about Irving finished with this sentence.
“Kyrie will have the opportunity to address his absence when he is ready to do so.”Sean Marks, Nets GM
I’d say there’s a contractual obligation to talk to the media and inform the fans about Kyrie’s status, but it seems those are just details. The cause of all this is the fact players are not being held accountable, and the Nets obviously have no intention to remedy that. As much as I find Kyrie’s behavior unprofessional, his enablers – the Nets and the NBA – are equally problematic. Buying League Pass, tickets and merch is predicated on getting an entertainment product in return. But it also is predicated on not insulting the intelligence of your customers.
We are closer to that tipping point than the NBA, and some of its teams seem to realize.