After the Nets won their game against the Bulls on Saturday night, Kyrie Irving took the podium and talked about how even with the NBA Playoffs fast approaching, he just wasn’t very focused on basketball right now. The reason? There’s just too much going on in the world right now! I only pay attention to sports and video games and nothing else, so I don’t know what he could be talking about, but this is certainly alarming to the handful of Nets fans that exist.
I would just love to see what the reaction to Irving’s comments would be if he played for an organization with fans in a time and place that allowed for full arenas. Can you imagine? The playoffs on the horizon and his team is one of the favorites to win it all. James Harden’s legacy is on the line, and this goof is more worried about what’s going on in the Middle East (I just Googled and apparently there’s some serious stuff going down in the Middle East right now).
We all know that whatever is happening in the Middle East is way more important than the NBA on a global scale, but Irving has a job to do just like everyone who isn’t being paid by the government to stay at home right now. You worry about your job first. You worry about your family first. That’s how it should be, and Irving has a bunch of guys on the Nets who would really like for him to be focused on basketball right now.
I wonder if Irving even realizes how bad his comments make him look, or if he’s just got a bunch of people in his ear telling him how amazing and sympathetic of a person he looks because he’s more concerned with people suffering all over the world than his job as a basketball player. Does Irving think he needs to raise more awareness for issues that are no doubt being covered around the clock on multiple cable news networks and an infinite amount of websites and social media accounts? Does he think that the issues will get worse if the media doesn’t know that he cared about them?
None of it will matter if the Nets continue their winning ways in the playoffs, but as soon as he has a bad game and the Nets lose one they’re supposed to win, there is going to be a problem. Someone in the mainstream media has to ask if Irving’s play is being affected by issues that are so important to him that he had to address them in a basketball press conference and not on his Twitter feed five minutes later.
Of course when that happens, we’ll just end up blaming Brooklyn’s failures on Benjamin Netanyahu, whoever that is. The bottom line is that you can raise awareness for global civil rights issues on your own time. The only purpose of being vague about those issues in a basketball press conference is to put yourself over, and the probable result is fans and teammates questioning your commitment to winning a title.