Kyrie Irving has never been shy about sharing his opinion. The 30-year-old athlete called out fans and the media this week during a rant on Twitch.
“You see me for three hours and you think you know who I am,” the NBA champion said following the Dallas Mavericks’ loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night (March 8). Since the eight-time All-Star joined the Mavs’ roster, the team sits at 5-6, leading spectators to revisit the idea of him being a detriment to any team he joins.
Irving addressed people calling him “woke” or questioning why he left past teams, namely the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, and the Brooklyn Nets. “Me, you think that I’m the cancer in the locker room as if basketball is an individual sport that one person is supposed to take blame for,” he expressed. “It’s 15 guys on the team, and I’m the one cancer in the room. That’s what it’s portrayed as.”
The father of one broadened the issue beyond himself and turned his attention to fans who bet on sports and insult players when they don’t win money. “Gambling and sports betting has completely taken the purity away and the fun away from the game at times,” Kyrie said.
“I’m gonna just be honest with y’all. Work is work, but the support around it can be distracting. There’s a difference between being a diehard fan and supporting your team and loving your team versus somebody that’s betting on a parlay or somebody that wants to hit.”
Kyrie Irving’s 2022-2023 season has been riddled with drama. In November 2022, the 2012 Rookie of the Year was suspended while playing for the Nets after promoting an anti-semitic film and being panned in the media for weeks. As a result, Nike and Irving parted ways before his contract with the premium athletic brand was completed. Upon returning to the Nets, he played very well but lost his teammate Kevin Durant due to injury. Irving eventually requested a trade in February 2023 and was sent to the Dallas Mavericks.