Getty Stephen A. Smith at 2020 NBA All Star Celebrity Game.
Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving missed his fourth consecutive game on Tuesday and is not expected to rejoin the team for at least the remainder of the week. Fortunately for the Nets, they were able to complete a come from behind victory against the Denver Nuggets behind a clutch performance from Kevin Durant who had another 30 plus point performance. While the Nets were able to narrowly snatch victory from the jaws of defeat it doesn’t change the fact that the team is still anxiously awaiting the return of Kyrie. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith thinks it is time for both Kyrie and the Nets to go their separate ways.
Stephen A. Says Kyrie Is Not Worth The Drama
“He’s not worth the drama at all. Matter of fact, let me say this straight up and down: I think Kyrie Irving should retire,” Smith said on ESPN’s First Take Wednesday. Tuesday, a video surfaced where Irving was seen celebrating his older sister Asia’s 30th birthday party in a club, with no mask on. This violates league policies. Players are not supposed to be present at lounges, bars, or gatherings with 15 people or more. Kyrie’s actions will likely result in more missed time away from the team as he will have to isolate as per league rules. The NBA is currently investigating the video.
“I think he should announce his retirement today. Clearly, you don’t want to play basketball bad enough,” Stephen A. continued. “Kyrie Irving has not prioritized basketball, but I’m not saying he doesn’t want to play all together. I’m saying he hasn’t prioritized it, and how fair was that to Brooklyn Nets? How fair is that to Sean Marks? How fair is that to Steve Nash? A coach that he endorsed bringing on board, a coach that he wanted, a coach that he fully supported? How fair is that to his brother, Kevin Durant?
“I think Kyrie Irving should retire. I think he should announce his retirement today.”@stephenasmith got right to the point
(via @FirstTake) pic.twitter.com/RKRXpkTx7Q
— ESPN (@espn) January 13, 2021
KD Has Remained Supportive of Kyrie
Kyrie and KD are close friends which played a major part in him leaving Golden State for Brooklyn. Durant has remained supportive of Irving’s decisions despite his extended absence from the team and will continue to do so throughout the remainder of the season. “I wouldn’t speak for Kyrie, I’ll let him do that for himself,” Durant told reporters after Sunday’s loss to the Thunder. “I’m sure you guys will see him soon after he comes back,” Durant said. ‘We support him 100% and pray for the best.”
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The reason for Kyrie’s hiatus is still a mystery to everyone outside of the Nets locker room. Stephen A. however, isn’t interested in the reason, because in his opinion he has put hoops on the back burner at this point in his life. For that, he thinks he is better off leaving the game until he is ready to fully commit to it. “His heart is in the right place,” Stephen A. continued. “He’s philanthropic, he’s very charitable with his time, with his donations and things of that nature. Here’s the problem that I have. He acts like he can’t chew gum and walk at the same time.”
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