Kyrie Irving's war with the media appears to be over -- at least, for now. But it hasn't stopped the NBA community from throwing criticisms his way.
Regarding Uncle Drew and his recent behavior, Charles Barkley had a lot to say, urging the Nets star to stop acting like he's more "woke" than everyone else and reminding the world that it's the player's obligation to speak to the media.
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"I’m not sure what he’s doing. I don’t like it,” Barkley said. “You know, they don’t pay you $40 million dollars just to play basketball. Part of it is sitting down with you guys, sitting down with me and Kenny [Smith] and Ernie [Johnson] and [Shaquille O’Neal], talking to New York reporters. Talking with the media is part of your professional obligation. And you can say what you want to say. But these guys today, they’re different. I don’t hate on them, but I’m not sure what point Kyrie is trying to make.
And when he talks I’m like ‘what the hell is he trying… what is he saying and what is he trying to say?’ He starts talking about what an artist is. He’s a basketball player. That’s what he is. Listen, we’re not… we’re not frontline responders. We’re not teachers. Yo man, you dribble a basketball, stop acting like you’re the smartest person in the world.
Now can you talk about social issues and things like that? Of course. But some of this other stuff I’m like ‘yo man, you do realize you’re just a basketball player, right?’ And it seems like he’s like ‘no I want you guys to realize I’m the smartest guy in the room.’ Well first of all, you’re not. You only went to college for six months. A lot of guys are smarter than you are. Just answer stupid basketball questions. And if you want to say something about social justice, say it and mean it, because it’s important and significant. But all that other stuff? Like, yo man, shut the hell up and talk basketball.”
Obviously, these are harsh words from Barkley, who is to be telling Kyrie, outright, that he's not as smart as he thinks he is.
No matter your opinions on Irving, one has to admit some of his comments are a bit distasteful. He once called the earth flat, linked his"awareness" to pesticides, and said he didn't need a head coach just weeks after the hiring of Steve Nash (though, he did take that one back.)
Those sorts of comments have been coupled with criticisms about how the media has treated him, only leading to more confusion.
Needless to say, Barkley has had enough -- and is urging Irving to just stop with all the noise.