With the NBA playoffs just days away, this should be the time for the Brooklyn Nets, and their big three, to lock in and prepare for the battles to come.
Instead, their star point guard, Kyrie Irving, is focused on other things.
In a recent chat with the media, Uncle Drew explained that he's unable to focus fully on basketball, choosing instead to raise awareness and speak up about the unrest happening between Israel and Palestine.
He didn't exactly mince his words and made it quite clear that basketball just isn't his priority at the moment.
As you might expect, that announcement was met with varying opinions by the fans and media. Stephen A. Smith, however, delivered the most extreme response:
“We all care about that,” Smith started on ESPN’s First Take. “We don’t want to see people dying. We don’t want to see people struggling. We don’t want to see people starving. Of course, particularly if you’re Black. You have been ravaged by racism and prejudice and bigotry and being marginalized and minimized. We all go through that. This is not new to him. So when you sit up there and look at people and you say stuff like that, you’re talking to other people and you’re saying, ‘Well this might not be on your mind, but it’s on my mind.'
...And the fact is you don’t know. It’s just that people may have jobs to do. Like you have a job to do. So while you’re there, just do it. Do your job,” Smith added. “… Your job might actually be, not just playing basketball, but answering questions about it for 10 minutes.”
Kyrie is rather notorious for not only speaking up on world issues but also neglecting some of his own responsibilities as a basketball player to promote his own views on those issues.
As great as it is that Irving wants to use his platform to spark conversation and promote change, it doesn't have to come at the expense of his job.
And, as Stephen A. pointed out, part of his job is to be there for his team on the court and be there for the media off of it.
Love him or hate him, one has to admit there may be better ways for Kyrie to get his message across.