After receiving a heavy dose of boos in his return to Boston, Kyrie Irving took to Instagram to vent, where he posted a long rant about how the game is an entertainment circus, and how it shouldn't be taken nearly as serious as folks make it out to be. He called Celtics fans "ignorant" and "obtrusive" for spreading negativity.
“It happens all the time and Tonight just shows how Sports/Entertainment will always be ignorant and obtrusive,” Irving wrote. “It’s one big SHOW that means very little in the real world.
“It’s about doing it for the fans and organization that love you so much? Think again, it’s a GAME, and it’s promoted as a Fandom experience for ticket buyers and viewers at home, while defacing who people truly are as PEOPLE,” Irving added.
“It’s one big SHOW that means Very VERY little in the real world that most people live in because there are Actually things that matter going on within it.”
”This GAME isn’t meant to be controlled and shown as a Drama, it’s meant to show the LOVE,” Irving concluded. “Lover for the Art is the Only damn thing that keeps the purist people in this Giant Sports/Entertainment Circus. Don’t’ fall for the Game that’s played in front of you as Entertainment, it’ll never be as serious dealing with LIFE.”
Obviously, this was received in many different ways. On Undisputed, Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe seemed to call out Kyrie on what they imply is a delusional sense of the NBA.
“If you truly believe basketball is an art form and not entertainment, just leave. Go to Rucker and play for the love there. The art form is you the entertainer and how you play. Basketball is just the canvas in which the art is painted on.”
While Kyrie is right in some sense (that the game of basketball should never be first life and that it can often be manipulated), he seems to also imply that using the game as a mode of entertainment is somehow wrong.
Playing in the NBA, that is shown for the fans, is the reason why Irving is able to make so much money and have such a platform to speak on his ideas.
Like it or not, basketball is entertainment and Kyrie knew must have known what he was signing up for. Fans use sports as their escape from their problems, and athletes use the love and attention of the fans to boost their own careers. It’s a mutual transaction that benefits both parties. Athletes are entertainers, among other things.