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from lightning glory to off-court controversies

One of those largely responsible for the iconic championship won by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, Kyrie Irving has experienced ups and downs in his career

Everyone has that favorite player, who, regardless of what happens, continues to like them. Even after bad choices, controversial speeches, whatever, on the court, he represents. Kyrie Irving is a great example of that. Idol of many young fans of the NBAthe number 11 was already champion of the league, but starred in controversial moments on and off the court.


Where it all began

Born on March 23, 1992, in the city of Melbourne, Australia, little Kyrie Irving stood out in basketball during his high school years in the city of New Jersey, in the United States, before playing for a short time in Duke University.

Cleveland Cavaliers – Lightning Glory

Selected by Cleveland Cavaliers in pick number 1 in the 2011 Draft, “Uncle Drew”, as he is called, was largely responsible for helping LeBron James to win the 2016 title with the Cavs, in the iconic comeback, when the Ohio team lost 3-1, but ended up taking home the Larry O'Brien 4-3, something never seen before in the history of the league.

Of course, James takes all the credit for winning the trophy and his iconic phrase “Cleveland, this is for you!” (“Cleveland, this is for you!”, in free translation) will be marked throughout history. But, Irving was responsible for memorable plays during the season and especially in the playoffs. However, in the finals, he ended up leaving the court in game 1, after getting injured.

Boston Celtics – Trouble Begins

Inexplicably, shortly after becoming champion, Kyrie decides to leave the Cavs to be the protagonist and leader of his own team. To do this, shirt 11 headed to the Boston Celtics, in 2017. But nothing went as anyone expected. On October 16th of that season, with just five minutes of play, Gordon Hayward, recently arrived at the Massachusetts franchise, suffered one of the ugliest injuries in history. And, on November 11th, the bad luck continued.

This time, it was Irving who was the victim, suffering a fractured face, but that didn't prevent him from playing for long. Even with the problems off the court, the Celtics had a good start to the season, with Kyrie showing all his expected skill, in line with good work from the coach Brad Stevens. But everyone already knows where that went. At the end of the regular season, the number 11 had to undergo knee surgery that ruled him out of the rest of the games and the Celtic club was defeated in the conference finals by the Cavaliers.


Upon returning for the following season, the Celtics struggled greatly to live up to expectations. Furthermore, Irving found himself in hot water for publicly criticizing his teammates and cooled negotiations for a renewal, which culminated in his departure for the Brooklyn Nets. Years later, upon rejoining the Celtic team, Kyrie was the protagonist of one of his countless controversies by showing his middle finger to one of the Celtic fans. TD Gardenbeing suspended for the action.

Brooklyn Nets – The greatest superteam in history and the biggest disappointment of all

After the 2019 free agency period, it was announced that Irving would be signing a million-dollar four-year contract with the Brooklyn Nets. In this, the New York team brought the number 11 to join Kevin Durant It is James Harden, which created fear throughout the league. How could three of the greatest players in history not work on the court? Obviously they would win a title! Again, everyone knows the end of this tale.

Recovering from an Achilles injury, KD didn't contribute much in his first season with the superteam. After a good start to the season, Irving also ended up leaving the team due to a shoulder injury. The number 11 even returned to the squad, playing great games, but surgery on his damaged shoulder would end his season.


Dallas Mavericks – A fresh start

After disappointing seasons wherever he went, it was expected that Irving would never again revisit the good basketball that made him a champion. But, on February 5, 2023, Uncle Drew had the chance for a fresh start. Switched to the Dallas Mavericksthe number 11 has been teaming up with the legendary Luka Doncic, who despite being very young, is proving to be a star. Now the two, who recently dubbed themselves “Batman and Robin,” want to bring the glory days back to Texas.

Main controversies

Flat Earth Theory

Yes, you did not read it wrong. Kyrie Irving has already caused a lot of buzz after taking advantage of his appearance on the “Road Trippin” podcast to say that he thought the Earth would be flat. He insisted that the truth was self-evident, but powerful people controlled the flow of information to the masses. Uncle Drew's comments went viral, even causing the famous astrophysicist to Neil deGrasse Tyson come forward publicly to speak out. “We live in a free country, so you can think and say whatever you want. If he wants to believe the Earth is flat, go ahead, as long as he continues to play basketball and doesn't become a space agent.”, joked the scientist. Eventually, the player made it public that what he had done was just a test to see how people would demonize him for having such a controversial opinion and doubting the status quo.

Propaganda for anti-Semitic film


In 2022, Irving was even suspended for one of his controversial off-court actions. That season, number 11 ended up sharing a film on his social media that contained anti-Semitic content. The punishment actually came when the player refused to recant what happened, suffering rejection from the Nets owner himself, Joe Tsai. Because of all this, the Nike ended up suspending his sponsorship contract, which culminated in the athlete's eventual departure from the brand.

Anti-vaccine during the Covid-19 pandemic

Irving was also one of the main active voices in favor of anti-vaccines during the Covid-19 pandemic, suffering harsh consequences for this denialist stance. The number 11 did not play in more than half of the season due to not complying with the health rules in most cities in the United States and Canada. Furthermore, on her social media, she started liking and sharing conspiracy theories.


Death of Bob Marley

Yes, Irving is a big fan of controversial conspiracy theories. In the same interview that gave his point of view on the flat Earth (which apparently turned out to be a test, from what the player said), Kyrie also spoke about the death of Bob Marley. For shirt 11, the famous Jamaican singer was murdered by the CIA. “For trying to unite the people through love and truth. And we kill people for doing things like that.”, shot. “Skipper” died of skin cancer in 1981.

from lightning glory to off-court controversies

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