Kyrie Irving has been the subject of conversation when on Friday, the Brooklyn Nets point guard opted not to speak during media availability.
Instead Irving issued a statement.
“COVID-19 has impacted us all in many ways,” he stated.
“So I pray for the safety and health of our communities domestically and abroad. I am truly excited for the season to start and I am also praying that everyone remains safe and healthy throughout this journey,” Irving wrote in the statement. “Instead of speaking to the media today, I am issuing this statement to ensure that my message is conveyed properly:
“I am committed to show up to work everyday, ready to have fun, compete, perform, and win championships alongside my teammates and colleagues in the Nets organization. My goal this season is to let my work on and off the court speak for itself. Life hit differently this year and it requires us, it requires me, to move differently. So, this is the beginning of that change.”
Some have interpreted that Irving’s declaration means that he won’t speak all season.
Sources have shared that’s ‘not factual.’ From all indications I’m told that Irving wants to focus on the 2020-21 NBA season and that actually winning will curb doubt from critics.
Former Nets point guard and Brooklyn, New York native, Stephon Marbury thinks that the Irving ridicule is unfair. “Kyrie is just expressing his constitutional right,” Marbury told me Sunday afternoon via phone in China.
In 20 games last season, Kyrie Irving averaged 27.4 points, 6.4 assists and 5.2 rebounds per game. Irving had season-ending surgery on a nagging shoulder impingement.
Irving was outspoken about the NBA’s resume at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. He did not make the trip, but created impact in other ways.
Irving pledged $323,000 to Feeding America and helped distribute 250,000 meals in the New York City area. “Seeing the effects of COVID-19 reach our loved ones, our schools, our jobs and access to food has really impacted me,” Irving peened via Instagram back in the spring.
“I am excited to partner with @feedingamerica and @lineagelogistics to launch the Share A Meal campaign to help marginalized communities get the food resources they require during this time.”
“I am asking my fans, friends, family and partners to join me in helping our communities by donating at the link in my bio,” Irving said. “Thank you to everyone on the front line working to keep all of us safe, healthy, and fed. Together we can change the world one small gesture at a time.”
Last month, Irving did Thanksgiving food giveaways at the Mitchell Houses in the Bronx, New York, where is father, Drederick Irving and godfather, Rod Strickland grew up.
Irving also did a similar food drive in Hillside, New Jersey. The Patrick School, Irving’s alma mater is located in Hillside. Irving helped rebuild the school when the campus closed down a few years ago when it was still named The Patrick School and located in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Knicks swingman, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is an alum of the school. So is current Seton Hall University guard, Bryce Aiken. Former Philadelphia 76ers big man Samuel Dalembert is alum on the school as is Al Harrington.
Appearing on a recent episode of Heavy Live With Scoop B, Harrington spoke glowingly about Irving’s contribution to his high school.
“Kyrie is the one that saved The Patrick School,” said Harrington.
“I’m gonna give credit where is due. I make my small contributions to help but, he’s the one. So hats off to Kyrie and you asked why it was important; it’s important because of the tradition that the school has. How many high schools can say they have you know, 20-plus professional players throughout all leagues and about 4 or 5 or 6 that went in the NBA. So I think that we have a lot of tradition and heritage at the school and it should be around. I think it’s gaining a lot of support especially because of Kyrie being so active.”