Kyrie Irving may be the most misunderstood star in basketball.
Despite years of excellence in the league, the story with Kyrie seems to revolve around his sayings and beliefs, which are more than controversial. From flat-earth conspiracies to comments about secret societies, the guy has been the source of head-scratching statements for years.
Most recently, Irving got put on blast for his role in perpetuating an anti-vaxx culture within the NBA community. Amid heavy criticism and haters lining up in numbers, his reputation has taken a massive hit.
Bearing witness to the assault on Irving's character, assistant coach Phil Handy recently spoke up in his defense.
“Until you actually get to know Kyrie, you’re going to get a lot of speculation. He’s going to say some stuff and certain things, but people don’t understand maybe what’s the context behind it or where he’s coming from. So, I always say a lot of times athletes, in general, are just in the spotlight where you just hear sound bites or you might see this or hear this, but people don’t really know the kid. And so, until you actually get to know Kyrie, I tell people all the time that if you don’t know someone, you probably shouldn’t speak on him.
He’s very private and his circle is very small and he’s not a guy that really extends himself a lot to people that he doesn’t know. Kind of like Kawhi.”
A lot of things have been said about the guys. And Irving himself has said some questionable things in the past.
Still, there's so little we actually know about who he is and what motivates his passions and beliefs. Perhaps there is more to him than some of the wilder things he's let slip from his mouth. There seems to be a side of him we don't get to see.
Focusing on this season, Irving could miss some significant time if he refuses the COVID-19 vaccine. But if the Nets hope to win a title, they're going to need the guy at his best. Because, no matter how much you might question what goes on in his head, there is no doubting what Uncle Drew is capable of on the basketball court.