IDIOT OF THE YEAR #7: Kyrie Irving, who dunked mercilessly on rational thought

Once again, it’s turtles all the way down for big-brained Brooklyn guard

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Kyrie Irving
Illustration: Getty Images

Welcome to Deadspin’s IDIOT OF THE YEAR festivities! Nos. 50 through 11 are available for your enjoyment here. And our top 10 thus far:

10. Thom Brennaman

9. Ted Cruz

8. Rob Manfred

7. Kyrie Irving

6. Sage Steele

5. Urban Meyer

One of the biggest storylines of 2021 has been that of Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets. We should’ve known we were in for a roller-coaster ride last fall, when Irving said on Kevin Durant’s podcast that the Nets didn’t really need a coach. Steve Nash, the team’s allegedly unnecessary head coach, should have turned and walked away then and there.

First it was his two-week hiatus during the middle of last season, and then it was his refusal to get vaccinated — Kyrie indeed dominated the headlines this year, and not for good reasons like “winning games” or “setting a good example.” All of it came down to Irving’s me-first attitude, and his insistence on doing whatever the hell he wanted to do regardless of how it affected his so-called “brothers” on the Nets.


Irving claims he’s been the voice of the voiceless for workers who lost jobs for not being vaccinated during the pandemic. Kyrie still has a job, though, and continues to collect checks despite not playing a game this season. His claims of needing to do more research on the vaccine is a bunch of bullshit, too. Like most others claiming they needed to do more of their own “research,” Kyrie is full of it and doesn’t care about anyone. Absent some type of medical or religious reason, they’re declining out of pure selfishness. Let’s just be honest.

Remember during Irving’s hiatus last season when he popped up on a Zoom call for a Manhattan DA candidate, on camera, calling himself “Kai” as if nobody would recognize him? Coincidentally, this meeting happened to take place at the same time as a Nets game in Brooklyn. But Kyrie needed time to clear his head. Yeah, that’s convenient. Plenty of Americans were disturbed by the Trump battalion ambushing the Capitol on Jan. 6, but most of us still got up and went into work following the attack. Irving needed time afterward to decompress by not playing basketball, but he had time to show up on camera at a city council meeting under a bogus name. And some of you continue to offer apologetics for this guy. Good luck with that.


Kyrie was finally reinstated by Brooklyn in December — effectively a reward for his selfish behavior — and he immediately proceeded to test positive for COVID. If you didn’t see that coming, you’re a bigger idiot than Irving. Because James Harden (also in health and safety protocols) hasn’t been James Harden this year, and the Nets are now desperate, Kyrie will be welcomed back to a team that now realizes the transience of its window for winning a championship. The Nets have done a 180 on Irving’s status to salvage a chance at a ring.

Kyrie Irving is a condescending, self-aggrandizing, entitled person who cares about himself and nothing more. He’s the type of person to throw rocks, then hide his hands when he’s caught and act like he doesn’t know what happened. Irving says disparaging things publicly, then gets upset when the media does its job and reports what he said. He’s labeled the media a gang of “pawns,” then, on brand, played the victim once called on it.

The lesson here, children? Stop trusting and hanging onto every word blathered by someone like Kyrie. Yes, he does great charity work, and that is awesome, but then he acts like an ass and expects the world to just accept it because, as a great basketball player, he’s had his ego stroked for much of his existence. People say Irving is brilliant, and that may be true in other ways, but Kyrie still has a lot to learn about life in general. The Earth, which is round, doesn’t revolve around him or anyone else. Until he understands that, there will always be something with Kyrie as long as he’s in the public spotlight.