Undisputed’s Shannon Sharpe was not amused by Kyrie Irving’s return to the media spotlight Monday. The Brooklyn Nets star finally sat down for a 17-minute Zoom interview with reporters after being fined for refusing to speak to the media last Thursday, the 10th.
By most accounts Kyrie did really well in his interview with reporters, even going as far as to clear up a media flub he had last month in which he said, “I don’t really see us having a head coach”. At one point during the call, Kyrie explained his thoughts and feelings behind the infamous decision last week that cost him and the Nets $25,000 each.
“It’s really just about how I felt about the mistreatment of certain artists,” Kyrie explained, “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.”
This explanation did not sit well with the three-time Super Bowl champ and co-host of the famous FS1 sports debate show. Sharpe fired back at Kyrie, stating that the NBA is not out to suppress the veteran point guard or any player for that matter. Shannon’s response does come from a place of experience, he spent 13 years in the NFL as a tight end and has been a sports commentator since 2004.
The criticism Sharpe had of Kyrie was scathing, to say the least. Wishing to not have to spend time listening to him speak seems harsh for someone who is simply going back and forth on his feelings about the media.
One cannot help but point out the similarities between Sharpe’s rant and the infamous Laura Ingraham comment in which she told Lebron James to not talk about politics and to “shut up and dribble”. The soundbite has exploded into a movement by athletes to become involved in politics and to participate in politics. Shannon’s comments are aimed at the “self-help book” consciousness that he accuses Kyrie of having, not his political views.
Irving put up 18 points in the Nets’ Sunday night game against the Washington Wizards after just 17 minutes of play on 7 for 9 shooting. Multiple betting sites give Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving’s Nets squad the third-best odds at winning an NBA Championship in 2021.