It has officially been zero days since Kyrie Irving’s last media rant, with the NBA point guard imploring fans to ignore the talking heads reporting on his impending free agency.
We haven’t even made it to the NBA Finals yet and Irving is already attempting to squash rumors about what team he might play for next season. But rumors have run wild since LeBron James and Los Angeles Lakers were swept out of the Western Conference Finals this week. LeBron might retire, LeBron might be traded to the Golden State Warriors, LeBron might reunite with Kyrie Irving in Los Angeles.
All of it has provided fodder for the TV debate shows, and Irving doesn’t enjoy seeing his name on any chyron, which he detailed Wednesday afternoon during a quick hit on Instagram Live.
Kyrie Irving says don’t believe certain free agent rumors
“When they speak on my name talking about potential teams, can y’all please stop paying attention to that.”
(h/t @LeagueAlerts )
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) May 24, 2023
“The speculation around my name from all these individuals that get on TV and have these personalities, all these people that have these platforms,” Irving said. “And I’m talking about the TV personalities, the sports folk that try to mix sports with politics and lifestyle and sh*t like that. When they speak on my name and they’re talking about potential teams I’m going to, can you all please stop paying attention to that?”
Irving did not say Stephen A. Smith’s name, but the “sports folk that try to mix sports with politics and lifestyle and sh*t” certainly seems like he might have been talking about the First Take host. Smith has admitted to having “personal” issues with Irving. Smith doesn’t shy away from mixing sports and politics, and Wednesday morning, Irving to the Lakers was briefly discussed on First Take.
Shortly before 2pm ET, that First Take segment was highlighted on SportsCenter with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo calling Irving “poison,” adding that he wouldn’t want to see the Lakers go near the All-Star point guard. Less than 30 minutes later, Irving was on Instagram Live complaining about TV personalities talking about his impending free agency.