Stephen A. Smith says Kyrie Irving should retire as absence and drama continue


The Kyrie Irving drama continues to take new twists and turns, with the latest being he attended a Zoom event for a Manhattan District Attorney candidate instead of playing in Tuesday night’s Nets game.

There does not seem to be a date set on when Irving will return to the court and the mystery surrounding his absence, which has been cited as “personal reasons,” has some questioning Irving’s commitment to his job.

Among the strongest reactions came from ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who called for the Brooklyn Nets star to retire when he was asked if Irving was worth all the drama during Wednesday’s “First Take.”

“No, he’s not [worth the drama]. He’s not worth it all all,” Smith said. “As a matter of fact, let me say this straight up and down, I think Kyrie Irving should retire. I think he should announce his retirement today.

“Clearly, you don’t want to play basketball bad enough. Now, you may still want to get the $33.4 million … Kyrie Irving has not prioritized basketball. I’m not saying he doesn’t want to play all together. I’m saying he hasn’t prioritized it. How fair is that to the Brooklyn Nets? How fair is that to Sean Marks? How fair is that to Steve Nash? A coach that he endorsed bringing on board. A coach that he wanted. A coach that he fully supported. How fair is that to his brother, Kevin Durant?”

Irving last played on Jan. 5 and some speculate that his absence could be related to the Capitol riot that happened on Jan. 6.

On Tuesday morning, a video was discovered that also appeared to show Irving at a birthday party for his sister, around other people, without masks on – a violation of the NBA’s COVID protocol.

The league said it was reviewing the matter.

Whatever the reason for Irving’s absence, as long it continues and continues to be mysterious, the more questions and criticism he is likely to face.

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