Close up of Kyrie Irving on the court in TEAM USA's jersey
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Stephen A. Smith Ruthlessly Bashes Kyrie Irving, Claiming They'll 'Never Speak Again'

Chisom Ndianefo - Author

Sep. 30 2022, Published 4:22 p.m. ET

Stephen A. Smith is one of this century's most prominent basketball analysts, and you don't reach that height without ruffling a few feathers. Smith has more than ruffled feathers as he often makes bashful commentaries without taking his words back, straining his relationship with the players. Last season, Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving got the brunt of Smith's Takes, causing the analyst to presume they'll never speak again.

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Irving Says He's A Martyr

At the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the NBA mandated players to get the vaccine before returning to the court, but Irving refused. He cited free will and freedom of choice, choosing instead to sit out the season if necessary.

Irving's decision lit the internet on fire with fans speaking for and against him, but Smith's commentary was one of the harshest bashings the Net's Shooting guard received from the public.

Smith Goes In On Irving

Smith bashed Irving for likening his choice to "Life of a Martyr," saying he called it in the beginning. He emphasized that Irving wasn't the only player on the team unaware of the mandate, including the owners and the coach. However, they decided to do what they didn't want to because the team came first, but Irving refused.

Smith says his refusal doesn't qualify as a Martyr but called him a brilliant businessman.

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I have missed it. The businessman that we aspire to be is Kyrie Irving.

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Falling Out Permanently?

Smith said Irving's decision was fraudulent as he got paid for doing nothing. He then added that Irving and he might never speak again because of his assessment saying,

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Kyrie and I will probably never speak again in life. I assure you I won't lose a minute of sleep over it.

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Smith's issue with Irving boils down to his lack of commitment to entertaining the viewing public who pay to watch the games.

Trade Rumors Put To Rest

It's been about a year since the frenzy over Irving's refusal to get vaccinated, and he's still playing for the Brooklyn Nets. There were rumors of him moving to the L.A. Lakers, but that never materialized.

His absence in the 2021 - 2022 season affected his team and messed with the chemistry as the players were thrown for a loop. Irving is, however, projected to improve in the 2022 - 2023 season now that the vaccine mandate is lax and the team is back in sync.


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