Thanks to a change in arena policy last week removing the vaccine requirement for entry, Kyrie Irving was allowed in the building in Brooklyn on Saturday night for the first time all season – as a spectator, for Duke-Virginia Tech in the ACC championship game.
And he wore a hat that said LOVE ME FOR MY BRAIN.
Irving, who dipped out of college for the NBA after one year at Duke.
Irving, who came out in 2017 as a flat earther.
Irving, who was Deadspin’s No. 7 Idiot of 2021 as the face of vaccine deniers everywhere, and the man who turned the Nets’ dream lineup into a nightmare by making himself unavailable for home games and alienating James Harden.
Irving, that Irving, wants to be loved FOR HIS BRAIN?
That’s like saying that we should all be saluting Mike Krzyzewski for his warm, cuddly demeanor as he prepares to retire from Duke.
Krzyzewski will go out with 15 ACC tournament titles, more on his own than any school in the conference except North Carolina (18)... but only 15, because Irving was in attendance to see seventh-seeded Virginia Tech get off the bubble and ensure its NCAA Tournament berth with a 82-67 upset.
The Hokies had never won an ACC tournament before. In fact, they hadn’t won any conference title since the Metro Conference in 1979. That year, Virginia Tech got an 8 seed in what was then a 40-team tournament, and beat Jacksonville in the Midwest opener before losing to Larry Bird and top-seeded Indiana State in the round of 32.
Duke, the No. 2 seed in the East back in 1979, lost to St. John’s in its tourney opener, but at least that was one March disappointment that Krzyzewski didn’t have to endure. He was still the coach at Army then, and wouldn’t take over at Duke until after the following season.
The Blue Devils will find out on Sunday if their two losses in the last four games have cost them a top seed for March Madness. But at least Duke knows it’ll be playing later this week. Irving will have to miss Sunday’s home game against the Knicks, and after playing in Orlando on Tuesday, miss Brooklyn’s next three games against the Mavericks, Trail Blazers, and Jazz, all at home.
At least Irving will be free to watch Duke in March Madness. Hats off to the Blue Devils’ biggest fan.