Nets Star Kyrie Irving Lets Loose on Being a “Master of Basketball”: “I’m Teaching Myself and It’s Therapy”

Published 05/06/2022, 12:08 AM EDT
Feb 26, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts during a timeout in the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving appeared on The ETCs with Kevin Durant podcast on Wednesday for a candid conversation with co-host Eddie Gonzalez. Many topics came along, including mastery of the game of basketball, being snubbed by NBA’s Top 75 team, and what his next goal is after what turned out to be a very disappointing end to the season.

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Irving has been under intense media scrutiny ever since he formed a ‘superteam’ in Brooklyn with Kevin Durant and James Harden, which increased tenfold this season. The 7-time All-star refused to get vaccinated, which prevented him from playing most of the regular season.

He played only 29 games this season, averaging 27.4 points, 5.8 dimes, and 4.4 boards per game.

The media pressure and criticism exacerbated after the Nets got swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics, following the departure of James Harden to Philly. It didn’t take long for the media and fans alike to scapegoat Kyrie as the main villain behind the travesty.

Kyrie Irving returns to Kevin Durant’s podcast, talks about basketball and life

However, Kyrie seems pretty unfazed by the whole situation. He had a very relaxed and honest conversation with Eddie Gonzalez on KD’s podcast. 

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The 2016 NBA champion talked about his introduction to the game through his father. He reminisced of the days of hooping in the backyard, working hard. All the sacrifices he had to make to become his present self.

In response to the question whether he considers himself a master of basketball, he said, “You can call me a master, but I myself will probably call myself a teacher of the game at this point.”

Apr 17, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) stares down Boston Celtics fans heckling from the stands before the start of the first round against the Boston Celtics for the 2022 NBA playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Irving explained that he likes being a student of the game, making mistakes, learning and figuring out new things. But he also likes being a teacher. Teaching himself and others, seeing them progress.

I’m teaching myself and it’s therapy” he added.

What’s next for Kyrie and the Nets?

The Brooklyn Nets have an uphill task next season. The media had labeled the current Nets team championship-or-bust from its very inception. So the pressure mounts with every season without a chip.

Mar 29, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) reacts to guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the third quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Barclays Center. The Nets defeated the Pistons 130-123. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Therefore, Kyrie and KD have their work cut out for next season, provided that Kyrie signs an extension.

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In the meantime, Ben Simmons will undergo back surgery in the offseason. He’s no stranger to media criticism, especially after his last season with Philly.

Check this story: LeBron James Backs Former NBA Star Who Openly Defends Draymond Green Being Unfairly Told To “Shut Up And Play”: “We Don’t Care”

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With Kyrie and KD healthy, the Nets could be legitimate title contenders next season. Ben Simmons will also have an opportunity to redeem himself.

Can the Nets vindicate themselves with a championship after all the noise they’ve had to withstand? Only time will tell.

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Satagni Sikder

55 articles

Satagni Sikder is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. He has a Master's degree in English from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, and has been following the NBA since 2017. Moreover, he supports the Dallas Mavericks, and unsurprisingly, Luka Doncic is his favorite player.

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