The Flat Earth of Kyrie Irving, Doncic’s new partner | Sports

NBA history is full of cursed. Bad guys, broken toys. Stars who mocked the system and broke the rules. That family belongs to Kyrie Irving, the American base that the Dallas Mavericks have just signed from the Brooklyn Nets to accompany Luka Doncic in the search for the ring. Flat Earther, anti-vaccination, conspiracy, controversial by nature. And a super player. The noise has walked parallel to the talent.

Nothing is common in Kyrie Irving, born in Melbourne (Australia) 30 years ago and with dual nationality. That in 2016 he was NBA champion along with LeBron James in the Cleveland Cavaliers, a title in a series of three finals in a row, seemed nothing more than confirmation of the glory to which he was destined. But soon the fires started, on and off the track. Irving wanted to fly alone, without the shadow of El Rey, and a season later he wore the green of the Celtics. Punished by injuries, he only lasted two seasons before joining the Nets in 2019, where he would later meet James Harden and Kevin Durant, creating a trio that seemed devastating. He wasn’t. Harden emigrated and again Irving’s physical problems and long history of outbursts were more protagonists than his baskets.

Until the pandemic, Irving was a wacko. He argued that the Earth could be flat, that John Fitzgerald Kennedy was executed by the “banking mafia” and that the CIA killed Bob Marley. He played the saxophone and ate a plant-based diet. He also donated thousands of dollars to the Sioux (his mother, Elizabeth, was a descendant of the tribe), had their logo tattooed on his neck and participated in torpedoing an oil pipeline in Dakota. And he bought a house for the family of George Floyd, the black citizen killed by the police.

When the coronavirus crisis exploded, Irving refused to get vaccinated, against 97% of NBA players, and his firm stance prevented him from playing at home with the Nets, since the state of New York prohibited access to the sports venues to those who were not inoculated. The club separated him from training and stopped entering more than 15 million. He would not play that season until January 5, 2022, at Indiana. He would not take long to mess it up because 15 days later the NBA fined him for insulting a Cavaliers fan. In April, he did the same thing with a Celtics fan. The two former teams of him. In March, after changing the legislation, he was able to debut at home. He only played 29 games that season. Irving was then vice president of the players union and donated $1.5 million to WNBA players for not participating in the Orlando bubble.

From puddle to puddle. Last November, Irving shared the anti-Semitic documentary on social media Hebrews to negroes: wake up, black America. Despite warnings from the Nets, and concern from the FBI, he refused to apologize until he was suspended five games from his job and pay and Nike broke its contract with him. Goodbye to the Kyrie 8 sneaker business. “We have made repeated attempts to work with Kyrie to help him understand the harm and danger of his words and actions, which began with the release of a deeply disturbing anti-Semitic hate film. . He has been given the opportunity to say that he does not have those beliefs but he did not do it, ”lamented his team. The base would retract shortly after: “I don’t want to remember the Holocaust or perpetuate hatred. I’m sorry. I will learn”. And he reached into his pocket again. He wanted to give $500,000 to various organizations, but this time his money was refused. Irving has accumulated more than 200 million earnings in salary alone in his career.

That is the man who will share a locker room with Doncic. An NBA champion with 725 games in the League, and an average of 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists this season until he requested the transfer a few days ago. The Lakers entered the bid, with the blessing of Magic Johnson and with the option of including Russell Westbrook, but with the condition of the peculiar coexistence with LeBron. “Maybe it’s me,” James tweeted when the move to Dallas was announced. In the Mavericks, Irving starts again, although next summer he will be a free agent. With the ball there are few doubts. Without it, the Earth can go back to being flat.

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