Kyrie Irving, one of the most polarizing figures in basketball, celebrates his 29th birthday today. The 7-time All-Star is considered the most skilled player to ever play in the history of the NBA. The praise does not just come from fans but from Hall of Famers and legends like Isiah Thomas who were known for handling the ball themselves. In the end, Kyrie Irving seems to play the game of basketball when he wants to and does not appear for games most time.
Kyrie Irving is a superstar, but over the years he has used excuses to not play in basketball games. While he is one of the most gifted players we have ever seen, his love for basketball does not seem to be as strong as it should be for a player of his calibre. Kyrie has taken breaks from games because of social justice issues and even stated personal reasons to go and party at his sister’s birthday party. While he does all this skipping of games, when it comes time to collect his check, he always needs to get all his money.
Kyrie Irving is not a bad person. He is very philanthropic and gives back to his community whenever he can. But in the end, to him, basketball is just a game. What he does not realize is that it is basketball that has given him the voice that he has. It is basketball that has given him the resources to be philanthropic. When it times come to work you must do your duty. Especially when you are paid millions of dollars to do so.
Kyrie has only played more than 60 games in his career, 4 times. While in some cases it was injuries that caused him to be unavailable, he has skipped many of those games of his own volition. He has lied to Cleveland fans saying he would be back and then leaving. He has lied to Boston fans and told them he would return only to sign with the Brooklyn Nets. In the end, it is difficult to root for a player like Kyrie Irving despite his displays of greatness on the basketball court.
Kyrie Irving has only played 19 games this season so far. While the sole blame does not fall on him (vaccine mandates do not allow Kyrie to play but other unvaccinated players from other teams can), he is to blame as well. Kyrie refuses to take the vaccine as a protest against the mandates. What he has done in the process is let down his teammates and fellow superstar Kevin Durant who have Championship aspirations. Kyrie is lucky that Kevin Durant has had his back this entire season.
Despite all that, Kyrie’s greatness cannot be denied. Kyrie has only played 19 games this season but is tied for the most 50 and 60 point games this season by any player in the league. He is a part of the 50,40,90 club that only 8 other players have achieved in NBA history. He is an NBA champion and 7-time All-Star. He was the rookie of the year in 2011-2012 despite only playing 51 games. He has won an All-Star MVP in 2013-2014 and has made the All-NBA team 3 times. All of this by the age of 29.
If Kyrie Irving prioritized basketball, who knows how much greater he could be. This was a man that Kobe Bryant took under his wing. Unfortunately, there is very little semblance of the Mamba Mentality that Kobe preached inside Kyrie. He is an amazing talent and has just gotten into his prime. We probably have 6-8 more years of Kyrie. Hopefully, we can see him a lot more and celebrate his greatness.