Kyrie Irving is no longer playing for the Brooklyn Nets. He plays for the Dallas Mavericks. However, he’s still plenty salty about how he was treated in the Big Apple.
During Irving’s 36-point stellar performance against his old team, a fan shouted at Irving to ask why he didn’t play this way when he was with the Nets. Irving responded simply and directly: “Thank Mayor Adams for that, bro.”
Irving’s shot at the mayor was in response to Adams’ decision not to allow Irving to play home games for the Nets or games in New York due to his decision not to get vaccinated.
The dozens of games Irving missed contributed to a disappointing 2021-2022 season for the Nets and played a part in the eventual breakup of a Kevin Durant-led team with championship aspirations.
Still, despite all that, Irving insists he doesn’t dwell on the negativity from his time in New York.
“I don’t think about it too often now,” Irving told reporters. “Pretty much at peace with what happened and spending time here. I wish a lot of guys well and a lot of people that I’ve gotten a chance to get to know.
“Got to see a lot of smiles. Got to make some kids really happy and that’s what this job’s about.”
Kyrie Irving is met with a mix of boos and cheers during pregame introductions (boos from Nets fans, cheers from the many Mavs fans).
The Nets put a graphic on the screen before welcoming back Irving, Seth Curry, and Markieff Morris. pic.twitter.com/tCzpIbuihJ
— Erik Slater (@erikslater_) February 7, 2024
Irving was booed during player introductions. That reception could have been due to the normal booing former players get when they return to face their old team. Knowing New York, it could have been due to his refusal to vaccinate. Or, it could have been due to his promotion of an antisemitic film.
Or, of course, it could have been all of those things.
Regardless, Irving and the Mavericks beat the Nets 119-107.