It appears that Kyrie Irving isn’t over his exit from last season’s playoffs. The Nets guard was forced to miss the final three games of the conference semi-finals after suffering an ankle injury after landing awkwardly on Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Irving brought up the injury on Monday when speaking to reporters. He used airquotes when saying that Giannis Antetokounmpo’s foot “just happened to be in the way”, implying it was a sinister play. Watch him make the finger gestures in the video below around the 3:00 mark.
For those who don’t remember, Irving who was guarded by Jrue Holiday, made a cut to the rim before going up for a close shot. Giannis came over in an attempt to track the ball and positioned himself for the rebound. Unfortunately Kyrie landed on Giannis which led to an ankle sprain.
Many would argue that the series could have ended differently if the Nets were healthy but hardly anyone except perhaps the staunchest Nets fans (and Kyrie) laid blame at Giannis. Of course, Giannis and the Bucks advanced and eventually ended up winning the championship.
This isn’t the first time Kyrie has had a gripe about the Finals MVP. Irving wasn’t impressed with the number of calls Giannis was getting in the playoffs against the Celtics and made it known. His complaint came despite both Boston and Milwaukee being called for a similar amount of fouls (27 vs 26).
Perhaps the incident was brought up because the Bucks star recently shared his thoughts about Kyrie’s vaccine drama. The forward gave a long and eloquent response, saying he would explain his reasons for getting vaccinated but also added that the Nets shouldn’t keep pressuring the part-time player to get the shot.
Brooklyn are 0-2 against Milwaukee this season with Kyrie missing both games. Mark your calendars for February 26 when the Nets travel to face the Bucks. The game was already a must-see matchup but Kyrie is certainly igniting the fire for this Eastern Conference rivalry.
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