Stephen A. Smith, a notable figure for ESPN and First Take, said, “I think Kyrie Irving should retire,” when reviewing the Brooklyn Nets star and his demeanor this season.
Irving, who will now share the field with new teammate James Harden, is making the Nets dangerous by simply playing with compatriot Kevin Durant.
Durant is playing exceptionally well after an injury to Achilles suffered in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals.
Smith was not a fan of Irving’s recent erratic behavior in Brooklyn.
“It’s not worth it [the drama] at all. In fact, let me say this from top to bottom: I think Kyrie Irving should be retiring, ”Smith said on ESPN’s first take on Wednesday.
He had more to say than that while he was making a rant, as he’s known for it.
“Kyrie Irving didn’t prioritize basketball, but I’m not saying he doesn’t want to all play together. I’m saying he didn’t prioritize it, and how fair was that to Brooklyn Nets? Is it fair to Sean Marks? How fair is that to Steve Nash – a coach he approved by getting on board, a coach he wanted, a coach he fully supported? Is it fair to his brother, Kevin Durant? We can sit up there and say whatever we want from Kevin Durant [being temperamental and all that stuff: this brotha is a superstar and answers the call the way superstars are supposed to answer the call. Whenever he can play, he does play. That’s who Kevin Durant is, he loves playing the game of basketball. He can play for a lot of money because he’s so great he commands it or he”d play for free, but he’ll play anywhere — because that’s who he is.”
While Stephen A. had plenty more to say regarding Kyrie Irving, he went a step further and added into the conversation one of Irving’s idols, the late great Kobe Bryant.
“If you know anything about Kyrie Irving, one of the people he loved — and I hate to bring this up but it’s unavoidable. One of the people he loved so dearly, was the late, great Kobe Bryant,” Smith said. “Kyrie loved this man, and he loved Kyrie. This is a person that you respect and wanted to emulate. If you knew anything about Kobe Bryant, Kobe Bryant had a multitude of issues. He was always doing something. Missing games, when healthy was not one of them — no matter what Kobe was doing. No matter what — even if he wasn’t necessarily 100%. He didn’t miss games. This is ridiculous. And you know what, he just needs to retire. He just needs to retire.”