The Brooklyn Nets earned an impressive 126-123 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.
Kyrie Irving led the way for the winning side, scoring a season-high 38 points and providing the sort of late-game leadership that has come to be expected from the star point guard.
After the fact, Irving spoke to the media.
One of his comments in particular stood out.
“When you’re playing with guys that are coming off the ball, being very selfless, putting their body on the line and thinking the game, it just makes my job a lot easier to lead the offense as best I can as the point guard,” he said.
“It was definitely emotional, for me to prepare for this game. Just because [of the injury] I haven’t been back in this building since then, and I try my best not to wear my emotions on my face or my shoulders but sometimes they get the best of me.
“But it definitely felt like there was a weight lifted just being back here, being healthy, getting the win, and knowing that there’s a possibility we can see them down the line again.”
It’s hard to read that as anything other than a direct shot at Irving’s former teammate James Harden, who is now a member of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Prior to getting moved ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline, Irving and Harden had some very public clashes. And while Irving has tried to take the high road in the aftermath of the trade, his relief at being done with Harden’s ball-hogging ways is very apparent.
These bachelorette party photos speak for themselves. https://t.co/Dil8nRrFE6
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 26, 2022
It will be interesting to see where the Nets go from here. Obviously there is a lot of season left to play. The first half of the year hasn’t gone as planned, but only the second half truly matters.
If Brooklyn can get healthy, get right and make a championship run – they’ll go down in NBA history as one of the league’s most impressive super teams.