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Former NBA Champion John Salley Explains Why Kyrie Irving Should Get The Same Respect As Kobe Bryant And Michael Jordan: "He Is An Artist And In His Artistry, He Should Be Able To Determine How And What He Wants To Say About It.”

(via New York Post)

(via New York Post)

Kyrie Irving is probably one of the most controversial players in the NBA today. Between his flashy playstyle and wild tongue, it's clear that the point guard star has a knack for attracting the spotlight.

And while Irving often draws a ridiculous amount of criticism, former Champion John Salley recently explained why Uncle Drew deserves a little bit more respect from the NBA community.

“It’s really just about how I felt about the mistreatment of certain artists when we get to a certain platform of when we make decisions within our lives to have full control and ownership … We want to perform in a secure and protected space,” he said, via the Guardian.

"...Isaiah Thomas said he’s never seen anybody handle the ball like that. That’s like saying I have never seen anybody handle a paintbrush like that. So to take an instrument like a basketball and do the things he can do with it, bu dribbling it. That’s artistry. So, George Gervin, artistry. Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, artistry. So, he is an artist and in his artistry, he should be able to determine how and what he wants to say about it.”

Defining Kyrie as an artist is pretty fitting. Not only does the Nets guard see himself that way, but his craft is truly a masterpiece. What he is able to do with the ball in his hands is nothing short of amazing, and there is no denying his talent at the game of basketball.

Off the court, Kyrie's behavior isn't as easily commendable. Still, love it or hate it, he has a right to use his platform as he sees fit.

Perhaps it's time to put some respect on his name...