Kyrie Irving opens up on what's been bothering him about the intrusions of fame

John Tomase
March 04, 2019 - 8:37 pm
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The exchange was hard to miss, because like seemingly everything else in Kyrie Irving's life nowadays, it was caught on camera.

"I'm not going to miss any of this (expletive) when I'm done playing," he said while entering the Garden before Sunday's loss to the Rockets. The object of his ire? The cameras in his face chronicling his walk into the arena.

On Monday night in San Francisco, Irving opened up about the challenges he has faced this season in advance of Tuesday's matchup with Golden State.

"I get tired of this stuff, just like everybody else," Irving told reporters, including the Herald's Steve Bulpett. "It's a constant battle, because media has gotten just outrageous, you know what I mean? Like I just saw something the other day where, I mean, he's the greatest player playing our game right now, but even seeing somebody question like (LeBron James') body of work, like my body of work, (Kevin Durant's) body of work. And the team's success falls on the best player, and whether to call that fair or unfair, nobody should ever question what type of winner those guys are, you know, what type of winner I am or whether or not I have the team in first mentality. It's like nobody wants it to be solely about them, but we take most of the responsibility and so does the head coach.

"It makes players very unhappy, very unhappy, I'll tell you that. I think somebody told me that Adam Silver was talking the other day about how unhappy NBA players are, especially nowadays just because of the scrutiny and exploitation that we go through of just everything being judged or someone being of a very high stature and people are just still throwing stones at them just trying to break them and break them. And words are very powerful."

Irving is trying to stay positive.

"By just realizing that it's not as bad as you make it seem," he said. "You know, everyone's not at odds with you all the time. You just get back to the root of what makes you tick and why you love the game of basketball. I've said it before, but I didn't really come into this game to be cameras in my face and be famous, be a celebrity, whatever embodies that. So it's a little hard for me, I wanted those things when I was younger, but at this point in my career, I just want to play basketball at a very, very high level, and the distractions that come within a team sometimes can get overwhelming, and I'm human.

"And I just try to not let it seep into my teammates, and that's the most important thing is setting an example for these young guys. And I don't even want to call them young guys. They're teammates. They really have a great passion for the game of basketball, and they've shown that they can play at a high level now."

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