National Basketball Association (NBA) superstar Kyrie Irving recently criticized New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) while returning to the Big Apple to face off against the Brooklyn Nets.
Irving, who formerly played for the Brooklyn Nets but was booted out of town after refusing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, was asked by a fan why he didn’t play as well during his time in New York as he is now while playing with the Dallas Mavericks.
Kyrie Irving, the unvaccinated NBA star, played against his former team, the Brooklyn Nets, and scored 36 points.
When a fan questioned why he didn't perform like this during his time with the Nets, Kyrie responded, "You can thank Mayor Adams for that."
His statement reflects… pic.twitter.com/c3618E0VfV
— Shadow of Ezra (@ShadowofEzra) February 7, 2024
“Kyrie, why didn’t you play like this when you were on the Nets?” the fan asked. “Why, Ky?”
In response, Irving said, “Thank Mayor Adams for that.”
In the game between the Dallas Mavericks and Brooklyn Nets, Irving scored 36 points and led his team to victory.
Following his team’s win, Irving spoke to reporters, saying that he’s made “peace” with the events that occurred during his time in New York.
“I wish a lot of the guys well, a lot of the people I’ve gotten a chance to get to know,” the NBA superstar said. “We have relationships that extend off the basketball court, and that’s all I can ask for.”
Another reporter asked Irving what he hopes his legacy will be in Brooklyn, New York.
“Honestly, I don’t care,” he replied. “That’s subjective. Everyone has their own opinion, so, let it run its course and hopefully in the next few years, it’s done. I know a lot of my peers could say the same — tired of the baggage that comes with playing our former teams, and all this extra emotional conversations and diatribes that come from it.”
Irving added that “some political things” took place while he was a player in New York.
As a player for the Brooklyn Nets, Irving was subjected to criticism by Adams and Democrats for refusing to follow the New York City mayor’s indoor vaccination requirement. Consequently, he was ineligible to play in Brooklyn’s home games.
Even after Adams lifted the mandate, he barred unvaccinated private sector employees and athletes from engaging in activities around New York City. Such a measure allowed Irving to attend NBA games as a spectator, but he couldn’t participate in any.