One of the key turning points during the NBA playoffs last season came in the second-round playoff series between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Brooklyn Nets. In Game 4 of the series, Kyrie Irving rolled his ankle on Giannis Antetokounmpo's foot by landing on him after an attempted lay-up.
The injury ended up sidelining Irving for the rest of the series, and the Bucks took advantage to defeat the Nets in 7 games and went on to win the NBA championship against the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals. Giannis spoke after Game 4 and lamented his role in the injury.
But recently, Irving's comments suggest that he thinks Giannis may have done it intentionally. During a recent press interview, Kyrie was discussing his Game 4 injury. When talking about Giannis' role in the incident, Irving used sarcastic air quotes when saying Giannis' foot just happened the be there.
Kyrie Irving was discussing his injury in the second round of last year’s playoffs used air quotes when saying Giannis Antetokounmpo’s foot “just happened to be in the way.”
Clearly, Irving doesn't seem to believe Giannis' pleas of innocence. It is understandable why Kyrie would be frustrated. After all, the injury came when the Nets were 2-1 up on the Bucks. And without Kyrie, only Kevin Durant was reliable, as Harden was still struggling with injury problems of his own.
Even without Kyrie, the Nets pushed the Bucks to 7 games. And owing to a slight overstep by Durant when taking a three-pointer (which counted for two points), the Bucks got past the Nets, before defeating Atlanta in the Eastern Conference Finals, and then the Suns in the NBA Finals.
Many fans believe that Kyrie's injury cost the Nets a championship. And perhaps there is some truth to it, as the Nets have one of the most dominant offensive trios. But there is no way to know whether the Nets would've beaten the Bucks and won the title with Kyrie on the team.