Kyrie Irving believes he is being persecuted by the media, no matter what he does. He is in a perpetual state of feeling sorry for himself, and NBA fans and analysts don’t really appreciate this attitude. It is very clear that Irving doesn’t want to take accountability of his actions or words and it has led to this inner belief that he is some sort of martyr. In fact, Irving used this word to describe himself while speaking to Eddie Gonzalez on The ETCs Podcast.
“I was not expecting a mandate to be brought down in a way where it wasn’t going to let me play at all,” Irving said. “I had the opportunity to play away games still but there was no plan in place, there was no vision of how it was going to work for our team. And I think that not only impacted not just me, but a lot of people. Just had to sit in that hot seat for a little bit and deal with it. The life of a martyr, bro.”
With the clip of Irving saying this going viral, everyone knew Stephen A. Smith would have something to say. He has been extremely critical of Irving and he did not hold back while speaking about the Nets star. Essentially, Smith believes if Irving was truly a martyr, he would have stood with those who lost their jobs instead of going back to play the minute he was allowed to.
“We got people that are still unemployed in New York City because of the mandate,” Smith explained. “If you really wanted to make some noise you would’ve said to hell with that, I don’t give a damn if I can come back, I’mma stand with them.”
Some will see this as a poignant critique while others will probably deem it as unfair. Either way, it is clear that Smith is staunch hater of how Irving has handled this entire season.