Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving has been a hot topic of conversation around NBA circles before the season even began. In the latest episode of the Kyrie soap opera, he has been under fire for leaving the Brooklyn Nets in the middle of the season citing ‘personal reasons’ as the excuse. While Kyries teammates, amongst other people of importance within the Nets organization, have been supportive of their starting point guard’s leave of absence, not everyone has felt the same way. One analyst is under fire for her recent comments on Kyrie’s personal leave.
Jackie MacMullan Details Awkward Conversation With Kyrie
ESPN analyst Jackie MacMullan may have some explaining to do about her comments toward Kyrie on a recent episode of The Ryen Russillo Podcast. She details a conversation she and the Nets point guard had some years back concerning the current format of the NBA Draft. “Two years ago, we got into an argument about something, and he said there shouldn’t be an NBA draft,” she said. “He said players should be able to go wherever they want to go. We are not someone’s property, and I’m like, yeah you are dude, that’s the way it works. That is why you get paid all these millions,” she said.
ESPN's Jackie MacMullan story about telling Kyrie that he's an NBA owner's property pic.twitter.com/boRkvcxld5
— Viral Sports (@NotScTop10plays) January 14, 2021
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J-Mac did not stop there. “So, I really think in Kyrie’s mind, I think the effects of the Capitol, I think the effects of the Jacob Blake shooting. Those things affected him. They bothered him. He felt like we are not putting importance where it belongs. These things are more important. I really believe that.”
The internet was not pleased with her comments:
Jackie McMullan outing herself that she considers employees the personal property of their bosses is just… so on the nose
— Proud Subject of the Gacha Kingdom (@EmpressConsort) January 14, 2021
Damn nah!!!! There are so many answers Jackie McMullan could have used. One could have been small market teams would not exist if it weren't for the NBA Draft. Every major league has a draft. To say players are property, hell no they are not! https://t.co/CLXOrBKdj8
— maliikawalkersports (@maliikawalkerw1) January 14, 2021
Analysts Have Been Rough on Kyrie
J-Mac is not the first ESPN analyst to come down hard on Kyrie as of late. First Take’s Stephen A. Smith has laid into Kyrie all season calling him a ‘snob’ for refusing to address the media and most recently suggesting the all-star point guard retire because of his choice to take personal time from the team. “I think he should announce his retirement today,” Stephen A. said on Wednesday’s episode of First Take. “Clearly, you don’t want to play basketball bad enough. Kyrie Irving has not prioritized basketball, but I am not saying he does not want to play all together. I am saying he has not prioritized it, and how fair is that to Brooklyn Nets? How fair is that to Sean Marks? How fair is that to Steve Nash? A coach that he endorsed bringing on board, a coach that he wanted, a coach that he fully supported. How fair is that to his brother, Kevin Durant?”
While others outside of the Nets locker room have acted harshly towards Kyrie, those within the organization have been understanding of his situation. When Kyrie does return to the Nets, the team will look different than it did when he left, as Sean Marks and company were able to complete a deal on Wednesday to bring James Harden to the Nets. While the pressure for the Nets will be even greater when Kyrie returns, this team is in win-now mode and up for the challenge.