Star guard Kyrie Irving spent three and a half seasons with the Brooklyn Nets before being traded to the Dallas Mavericks last February. And although his exit was not ideal, he still has strong bonds with some of his former teammates.
One of those players is rising guard Cam Thomas, whom Irving and Kevin Durant took under their wing during their tenure. Thomas has been one of Brooklyn’s brightest stars in this young season, which has Irving questioning why the Nets guard is not receiving more playing time.
“If you look at some of the games that he had last year, it makes you wonder, ‘Why isn’t he playing more? Why isn’t his role a little bigger?’ But that’s for Brooklyn to figure out,” Irving said via the New York Daily News.
“He’s still a young player, developing. Still has to play both sides of the ball. He still has to continue to improve, and in order to be a winning player, you also have to be selfless in your approach.”
Cam Thomas Gets Candid on Kyrie Irving
An argument can be made that Thomas has been the Nets’ best player this season, despite playing alongside Cam Johnson, Ben Simmons, and Mikal Bridges. In two games, he is averaging 30.0 points per game while shooting a scorching 62.5 percent from the field.
But these hot stretches are nothing new to Thomas. Last season, he had a three-game stretch where he averaged 44.7 points per game on 56/56/90 shooting splits.
Thomas, who scored 30 points against the Mavericks, said that after the game, Irving could not stop gushing over his development.
“It was just kind of like a big brother being proud of his little bro, just doing what I’m doing these first two games,” Thomas said via the New York Daily News. “Obviously, I’d rather have the wins, but he was just telling me that he’s proud of me and how I’ve been playing. It means a lot, honestly, because we go way back.”
Kyrie Irving Gets Candid on Sports Gambling
The rising popularity of sports gambling in the United States is no secret. Online sports betting is currently legalized in 26 states, with more likely to come. But its increased level of popularity has had a reverberating effect. The level of vitriol fans have against players who cost them money has caused the relationship between fans and players to be frayed, and Irving has begun to take notice.
“I’m just gonna call it out. Everybody is talking about their f —— ticket. I’m not gonna say I don’t care about your ticket, but if you want to gamble, why don’t you gamble on something that makes sense, to you? And if you gamble on me, I’m not going to tell you whether it’s a good gamble or bagging, I’m just saying you’re gambling. You’re gonna win or lose,” Irving said during a Twitch stream in March via Sports Illustrated.
“There is a difference between being a diehard fan and supporting your team and loving your team versus somebody that’s betting on a parlay. … Do not get me wrong. I do not want anybody wasting their money on me. But goddang this whole community of gamblers has come into the game of basketball.”