There has been no shortage of criticism thrown Kyrie Irving's way. Yet, he remains unfazed by the hate because he knows that he's not the first (or last) person to be painted in a negative light.
While fielding questions regarding the hate he receives, Kyrie Irving makes it clear that he feels like he's a great player. As a result, he'll be subjected to the same treatment other exceptional figures received.
"My name was given to me by my grandfather and I'm very grateful but it's in a lot of people's mouths... I've earned that because of how great I am as a player," Kyrie said at the clip's two-minute mark. "When I was out for those seven weeks and not saying anything and still people are still saying things about me. It’s inevitable. They crucified Martin Luther King for speaking about peace and social integration. You can go back to historical leaders and great people in society that do great things, and they’re still going to talk shit about them. It is what it is."
People had mixed feelings about this.
When Irving was nursing his shoulder injury, people like Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins questioned his mental toughness. He also made some questionable remarks about the Nets' roster.
"Collectively, I feel like we have great pieces, but it's pretty glaring we need one more piece or two more pieces that will complement myself, KD [Kevin Durant], DJ [DeAndre Jordan], GT [Garrett Temple], Spence [Dinwiddie], Caris [LeVert], and we'll see how that evolves," Irving said.
A lot of critics felt like these comments are disruptive to team chemistry. However, Kyrie believes that he's just trying to better the franchise. It was these remarks and his feelings about them that sparked Monday's critique on the way the media interacts with players.
His allusion to Martin Luther King, Jr. during this response could be a side effect of Irving feeling the holiday spirit. Brooklyn squares off against the Sixers on Monday. The opportunity to host a game on a day that commemorates this historic civil rights leader is something that Irving doesn't take lightly.
"It’s more than an honor. I have done so much historic research on just my community as well as the voice that I have and where I am in the position I’m in as well on the platform. I just wish there were not just holidays to commemorate some of the historical black leaders that have really put their lives on the line and lost it in the line of Civil Rights or making a social impact," Irving said when asked about playing on MLK, Jr. Day.
"Those things hit you real deep when you know the history of where the society has gone," Irving continued. "I’m really grateful to play on Martin Luther King Day, but his legacy exists more than just a game being played on that day or Nike shoes being put out or something else. It’s so much more for our society to realize what he was really involved in and what he did in terms of communities across the world on."