Former Blue Devil Kyrie Irving has proven a real presence in the NBA. First he dazzled with his talent and to be very clear, he’s not the most talented player in the NBA. When he was in high school a lot of analysts saw him as a modest “talent” at best because his athleticism wasn’t off the charts.
What was off the charts was his desire to work hard. We linked to a video the other day that showed some of what he does to improve. Among other things, he does a drill where he stands on two basketballs and dribbles with both hands. He also leans over in a way that would cause most people would fall. His core strength must be incredible and so are his skills. We’re not sure anyone outworks Irving.
He’s also picked up a reputation as being eccentric and, perhaps, a bit difficult. He left Cleveland and Boston amidst some unhappiness and is now with the Brooklyn Nets, where he was supposed to be part of a super team favored to win this year’s title.
But Irving, to slant a favorite Mike Krzyzewski phrase, has always run his own race. His qualms about the Covid-19 vaccines have become an issue. New York ruled that that Irving could practice with the Nets but not play home games and this week, the Nets decided that he would not practice or play until he was in compliance.
Now, according to this link and podcast, the Nets may be through with Irving.
We’ll all have different opinions on Irving’s case which fall into two rough camps, but whatever you think, he is willing to put his money where his mouth is. It’s not exactly Muhammad Ali vs. the draft but he’s paying a significant price for his decision.