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Kyrie Irving is a Problem

By Stephen Douglas
Milwaukee Bucks v Brooklyn Nets - Game Two
Milwaukee Bucks v Brooklyn Nets - Game Two / Steven Ryan/Getty Images
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Kyrie Irving is a problem. As long as that term has existed online, it's been an apt description of Irving. An impossibly talented basketball player who would give even the best defenders in the world trouble. He was blessed with the ability to do multiple things at an All-Star level and one of the best handles in the history of his sport. We've always known he's been a problem, but because of those gifts, we've tried to ignore all the other ways he's a problem.

Right now he's playing a cute little game where he's clearly a "do your own research," anti-mask, anti-vaccination person, but isn't really coming out and admitting to it like, say, Cole Beasley. He sends out cryptic tweets, and gives non-answers to the press when he actually speaks with them. Which is exactly what happened today at the Brooklyn Nets media day.

Irving was asked about his vaccination status -- which we all know -- and he played the "please respect my privacy" card. Seriously, asked whether he would play home games, he asked for privacy as if he's not paid millions of dollars to play basketball in the Barclays Center.

That means nothing. These are bullshit privacy and personal choice arguments for everyone who is too dumb, weak, or afraid to get vaccinated. It's not even worth rehashing it. Just know Kyrie Irving is full of ... well, he's not a person to be taken seriously. It's something we've known for quite a while. He started his NBA career by telling the media that he promised his father he would get his degree from Duke within five years following his one-and-done season with the Blue Devils. In 2016 he told The Chronicle that had gone nowhere. His excuse? No online classes because Duke is a private school. It's now been a decade.

It sure seems like Kyrie just says things. Howard Bryant tweeted yesterday that someone in the NBA told him Irving is a "contrarian without a cause." That really is perfect way to describe it.

What is Irving fighting? Besides helping his team and being a good person? And it's really difficult to say anything because he's cloaked himself in some serious issues, most of which he's never elaborated on despite the fact that he has the entirety of the press at his disposal at any given moment.

When Kyrie went missing for a few weeks last season I know I personally did some mental gymnastics trying to understand his mental state. Then he was back a few days later. No explanation given, but that was just his thing from last season. In his final season in Boston he didn't attend multiple playoff games as his time with the team was over and he knew it.

The reddest flag of all was the Flat Earth stuff. It was funny because, well, what a stupid thing to believe! So we laughed and we joked, but he was just laying the groundwork for this anti-vax crap because once you consider the Earth is flat, you've opened yourself up to much more harmful stuff. And that's where we are now.

Irving will probably end up vaccinated because he doesn't actually believe any of this. It's just fun to "just ask questions" and tell the pawns in the press he doesn't want to talk about it. He might go for a religious exemption first, but who knows. What we do know is that Kyrie Irving is a problem.

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