The relationship between star guard Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets has been on rocky ground for a while now. From Irving’s refusal to get vaccinated last season to his open revolt of the NBA Bubble in 2020, things between the talented but mercurial player and the organization haven’t been good. Following an offseason where rumors swirled about Irving possibly being traded to the Lakers just about everyday, he’s back in the saddle in Brooklyn.
As the team tries to sort out roles with Ben Simmons now in the fold and on the court, the Nets have struggled out the gate. But that hasn’t stopped Irving from ruffling feathers of team owner Joe Tsai. The aforementioned Tsai took his star guard to task for his endorsing of a book titled …. “Hebrews To Negroes: Wake Up Black America.”
Irving was immediately called out for his views and stance on the controversial piece, with Tsai issuing a statement ….
“I’m disappointed that Kyrie appears to support a film based on a book full of anti-semitic disinformation. I want to sit down and make sure he understands this is hurtful to all of us, and as a man of faith, it is wrong to promote hate based on race, ethnicity and or religion.”
The Nets public relations department also issued a statement on the matter ….
“The Brooklyn Nets strongly condemn and have no tolerance for the promotion of any form of hate speech. We believe that in these situations, our first action must be open, honest dialogue. We thank those, including the ADL, who have been supportive at this time.”
Irving’s Endorsements Comes On The Heels Of Friend Kanye West Antisemitic Comments:
Irving’s comments come in a week where good friend Kanye West lost many partnerships including Adidas. Ye says the lost deals reached as much as $2 billion in a single day. The losses suffered followed antisemetic comments and rhetoric made by Ye on many different platforms. His school Donda Academy abruptly closed following the fallout, leaving would-be students scrambling for a new school to call home.
Irving is a lot like Kanye in that he for against the grain, while saying and doing things that keep the attention on them. Now Irving is in a bit of a quandary as team owner Tsai wants to sit and talk with him about his beliefs.
Irving Seems More Interested In His Off The Court Life Than Playing Basketball:
Since hitting the game-winning, championship-winning basket to upset the 73-9 Warriors in 2016, Irving has been a bit of a head case of sorts. His stop in Boston ended ugly, and upon his departure the team immediately got better. Now in Brooklyn, he and Kevin Durant haven’t had much success, and a lot of it stems from the belief that they don’t need a coach. In fact, prior to the team beginning the 2019-20 season, Irving even stated that they didn’t need a coach. During a segment on Durant’s, “The ETCs” podcast
“I don’t really see us having a head coach. You know what I mean? KD could be a head coach. I could be a head coach.”
“It’s a collaborative effort,”
And in many ways that type of attitude along with Irving’s ways haven’t helped the team on the floor.