It’s no secret that most of today’s most prominent professional athletes love to let their opinions be heard, even if they don’t really know what they’re talking about.
And no one in professional sports may be better at doing just that than Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving.
As far as NBA legend Charles Barkley is concerned, though, Irving should really “just shut up” for once – and fans cheered!
If you’re unfamiliar with Kyrie Irving’s off-court antics, all you really need to know is that he wholeheartedly believes that the Earth is flat.
“This is not a conspiracy,” Irving said in 2017. “The Earth is flat.”
Apparently, the six months he spent at Duke University completely broke his brain, and now that he has the platform of an elite NBA player, we get the pleasure of hearing all of the nonsense that he likes to spout.
Most recently, Irving chose not to take part in the Nets media day and seemed to suggest that he would be boycotting what he called the “pawns” in the media, despite NBA rules.
After a couple of hefty fines from the NBA, Irving changed course, but the damage of his off-court antics was once again done.
And, at this point, Charles Barkley has absolutely had it with Irving’s stunts, and he unleashed on the Nets guard during a recent radio interview.
“They don’t pay you $40 million just to play basketball,” Barkley said. “Part of it is sitting down with you guys, sitting down with me and Kenny [Smith] and Ernie [Johnson] and [Shaquille O’Neal], talking to New York reporters. Being with the media is part of your professional obligation, and you can say what you want to say. But these guys today, they’re different. I don’t hate on them, but I’m not sure what point Kyrie is trying to make.”
“When he talks, I’m like, ‘What is he saying and what is he trying to say?’,” Barkley continued. “He starts talking about what an artist is. He’s a basketball player. That’s what he is. Listen, we’re not frontline responders. We’re not teachers. Yo man, you dribble a basketball, stop acting like you’re the smartest person in the world.”
While Barkley could have easily stopped there with his point made perfectly clear, he wasn’t quite done getting everything he needed to say about Kyrie Irving off his chest just yet.
“‘Yo, man, you do realize you’re just a basketball player, right?’” Barkley said. “And it seems like he’s like, ‘No, I want you guys to know I’m the smartest guy in the room.’ Well, first of all, you’re not. You only went to college for six months. A lot of guys are smarter than you are. Just answer stupid basketball questions. And if you want to say something about social justice, say it and mean it, because it’s important and significant. But all that other stuff? Like, yo, man, shut the hell up and talk basketball.”
Virtually no one can argue against Barkley’s take here.
He perfectly summed up, as only Charles Barkley could, exactly how most sports fans feel about a ton of professional athletes these days.
Simply having a platform doesn’t make you any smarter or wiser than anyone else.
Just play the game.
Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.