Cleveland Cavalier alumni Kyrie Irving continues to taint this legacy.
There was a time, not that long ago, when Kyrie Irving was seen as a guy that fans would still want as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was a Cavs’ star for years, leaving the team after the 2017 NBA Finals and getting traded to the Boston Celtics in a deal that included Isiah Thomas and a pick that would end up becoming Collin Sexton.
The Cavs got what they could for him and at the time, everyone considered it a lopsided deal for Boston. Until two failed seasons later when Irving left town for Brooklyn. We all know how his stint as a member of the Nets has gone, but his behavior has been all over the place.
In fact, the things he claims to be true, plus his erratic behavior are truly concerning. It’s not just him denying the Earth is round and if you know how radio signals work, you know that alone is enough proof to convince anyone with any real intelligence, but it’s his sheer inability to hear anyone else in the room. It goes beyond his recent controversies and back to his time in Cleveland.
He has always been someone who dismissed people he disagreed with out of hand.
Now, Irving’s entire tenure in the NBA is filled with him making a mess of a situation because he thinks he’s smarter than everyone else. Yet, if intelligence is linked to success, then you really have to wonder if he’s even a man of average intellect because he ruins so many situations by not being smart enough to not say something.
When looking at some of his controversies over the last six years, really paints a portrait of who Irving is.
"Referred to himself as a generational leader while his ex-girlfriend was harassed onlineTold Ty Lue that getting his teammate’s shots wasn’t his jobDemanding out of Cleveland so he could be “the guy” on another team.Dismissing LeBron James when he was introduced as a CelticLied when he said he’d re-sign with the Boston CelticsCalled out his young teammates while with the CelticsVoting for the Bubble then attempting a boycott when he wasn’t allowed to travel to itClaiming to be a better “clutch” player than LeBron JamesAttempted to undermine his new head coach Steve Nash by usurping power from himCited Alex Jones as a source when talking about conspiracy theoriesPromoted an antisemitic movie that claimed the Holocaust didn’t happenFailed on two occasions to distance himself from the film’s clearly antisemitic views"
Yes, Irving has done some good deeds, but that doesn’t excuse all of the chaos he brings. You don’t get to just ignore his toxic behavior because he does the occasional good thing; that he is all too quick to remind people of.
After all, Irving is a man of God, so shouldn’t he know Matthew 6:1?
"Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven."
Kyrie Irving’s legacy has been tainted beyond repair
The more and more Irving talks, the more the facade of this intellectual superiority falls away. There are a lot of complicated and disheartening reasons why there are people who defend him, but the man is clearly having struggles.
He’s so detached from reality that he can’t even accept criticism without him lashing out and trying to, ironically, dehumanize people for just doing their job. Nothing about his behavior is normal nor is it acceptable.
His suspension for his endorsement of an antisemitic film followed up by two of the worst press conferences we’d ever seen, has shown the world who he truly is. He is a man who needs help, not basketball. It’s unlikely Nike suspending his shoe line is going to make a difference, as he has a perpetual victim complex. So he’ll likely just blame someone else.
His legacy is shot, and honestly, it’s hard to say if it can be repaired. The Cavs will one day honor the 2016 NBA Championship victory, and unless Irving can get the help he needs and become a better person, it might be wise to pull a Celtics and not invite him back, just like Boston did to Ray Allen.