Kyrie Irving’s tenure with the Brooklyn Nets hasn’t exactly been smooth-sailing. Injuries have been the storyline for them — first for Kevin Durant (who went down with a torn Achilles in the summer) and then for Kyrie (who has been battling shoulder injury since November).
Of course, Kyrie’s comments about his own team, in which he implied the current roster was not good enough to win a Chip, gave folks more reason to pause, and those words soon became front-page news.
Long story short, Kyrie’s first season in Brooklyn has been headlined by unfortunate situations. So it’s only fitting that he give us all a good laugh at his expense. Check out what he said in the locker room to Michael Lee of The Atheltic:
“It’s not a coincidence that the last time the Nets won a title, they were led by Julius Erving,” Irving said, referencing the two ABA titles Hall of Famer Julius Erving won with the then-New York Nets in 1974 and 1976. “And now, we have another Irving. I’m just saying.”
The implication was that the Brooklyn Nets were eventually going to win it all again because they employed another player whose name was pronounced the same. Irving was half-joking, half-serious but LeVert was fully confused. Realizing that LeVert wasn’t really feeling his name theory, Irving tried to enlist support from Theo Pinson. Then he called out for Taurean Prince, who furrowed his brow, perplexed.
“I’m just saying. Erving. Irving,” the mercurial All-Star point guard turned defense attorney said, making his case, to no avail.
“How do you spell his name again?” Pinson responded, hoping that Irving would realize how silly he was being with the Dr. J chatter and just…stop.
“He’s with an E,” Irving said, acknowledging the difference, “but how do you say it?
This seems like a bad joke more than anything, but these types of strange Kyrie interactions are starting to become normal for the NBA Champion.
In this case, it was a joke that fell flat and resulted in an awkward exchange. In the past, it has involved Irving publicly (and privately) bashing his teammates, questioning the roundness of the earth, and separating himself from his own team in weird and random mood swings.
Hopefully, this all becomes backwash when Kevin Durant returns next season. But it’s hard not to wonder what these types of antics are doing to a roster that has already been underperforming.