Kyrie Irving is one of the NBA’s more interesting characters.
Despite his penchant for making headlines due to things not pertaining to basketball, Irving is actually a tremendously talented player as well. Because of that, this past week he was named as an Eastern Conference starter for the looming 2021 All-Star Game.
On Friday, he spoke to the media regarding what the honor meant to him.
“Like I said in the beginning of the season, I know how much I care about being validated culturally, just my culture in terms of the hooping culture,” he told Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News, via Yahoo Sports.
“That’s where I came from. The NBA culture in terms of the fanatic and all the awards and accolades. They mean a lot too, but I do it for the love; so anytime I get a chance to do it on a bigger stage in front of millions of people, I’m gonna take full advantage of that. All glory to God for the talent that he’s given me.”
So far this year Irving is averaging 27.7 points per game on 52.9 percent shooting from the field and 42.7 from beyond the arc. In addition, he is also chipping in 4.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 1.0 steals per outing.
Klay knows how to do Valentine’s Day right. https://t.co/Gxt1gRLTX2
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 15, 2021
Incredible play notwithstanding, Irving has also been subject to controversy. He and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James had a weird moment this week, he took a bizarre lengthy break from his team at the start of the season, and he was involving a racist brouhaha with Jackie MacMullan of ESPN.
All of those things probably explain why Irving, who was clearly liked enough to be voted in as an Eastern Conference All-Star starter, is also one of the most hated on NBA players on Twitter.
Despite it all – Irving has stayed playing at an elite level. And that above all else is why he was just rewarded with the seventh All-Star nod of his career.