Bucky Dent, Ulf Samuelsson, Bill Laimbeer, Peyton Manning. These are just a few of the most hated athletes in Boston’s sports history. As the popular meme goes: Kyrie Irving rises from his seat, cracks his neck, and says, “Hold my beer.”
Irving has the Anti-Midas Touch. Everything he touches turns to sewage. To Boston fans delight, he’s already smearing those venomous hands all over the Brooklyn Nets organization. Rumblings of aloofness. Bad attitude. Mood swings. Reading this news sends Boston fans into a terrifying daydream, until they snap out of it with a sigh of relief, realizing he’s now contaminating another team’s chemistry. As a great Toy Story character once exclaimed, “Somebody’s poisoned the watering hole!” Upon Sheriff Woody’s investigation, he came to only one conclusion: Kyrie Irving.
And this couldn’t make Celtics Nation happier.
But just as Boston fans couldn’t get any giddier with the situation—the shorthanded Celtics are 11-4, Nets are 7-8 with a glorious side record of 5-1 without the Toxic Avenger—Irving comes out of nowhere and sucker-punches Boston fans right in the face. The Nets have already announced that Irving will not play Wednesday night in Boston. Meanwhile, legends are told of NFL players playing on torn ACL's, NHL players playing playoff games with multiple broken bones. I mean, none of these compare to Kyrie's sore shoulder! After all, how is it not sore? He's been ignoring open teammates, throwing up shots like an aspiring frat boy at an initiation party. Too bad Irving can't push through these aches and pains.
Add coward to toxic.
Luckily, Irving signed a four-year contract with Brooklyn, meaning there will be eight games played between the Celtics and Nets at TD Garden, (not counting payoffs.) Irving couldn’t possibly avoid every one of these tilts, could he? Well, Let’s not forget what the Great Kevin Garnett yelled after the Celtics raised banner 17.
The non-visible-to-the-eye “Kyrie injury” Boston fans are all too familiar with, has conveniently popped up again. Except for this time, it’s Nets head coach Ken Atkinson dealing with the sharp-shooting Rubic’s Cube (Unless he’s playing the Bucks in the 2nd round of the playoffs, where he turns into Marcus Smart shooting 3s blindfolded.) A word of advice to you, Coach Atkinson: use this wasted year to put Irving over your knee, and spank his bottom, before he alienates your most prized possession … Kevin Durant.
Unlike the Celtics of last year, the Nets have Irving locked up and under control until 2023. Atkinson and GM Sean Marks do not have to sell their souls to the Dribbling Devil like Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge did. Irving wants to play coach and do things his way? Atkinson has the power to tell Irving, “Yeah um, have a seat at the end of the bench and rot there for the next four years. Knock on my door after you’ve eaten an entire humble pie and let me know when you’re ready to do things my way.”
Will this happen? Please! This is the NBA. The shameful part about all of this is Atkinson is a pretty good coach. Some might even say a poor man’s, Brad Stevens. Last year, Atkinson’s system along with the Nets star-free roster overachieved in the regular season and beat the Sixers in game one of the playoffs, before ultimately getting outmatched for the rest of the series.
Now? The Nets look nothing like that same team. Hmm … I wonder why that could be? (Insert thinking man emoji.)
Ego is ugly, and the whole situation is a shame. A team featuring Irving, Gordon Hayward, Al Horford, a now drastically improved Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, mixed in with Super Intangible Man, Marcus Smart, is easily talented enough to win multiple championships. Instead of bringing his hardhat and toolbelt to a budding foundation, Irving brought a wrecking ball.
Unfortunately, all it takes is one bad apple. A drop of poison. A villain that rivals, Alex Rodriguez, Matt Cooke, Aaron “Bleeping” Boone, or Darth Vader will not be hiding under your bed Wednesday night, Boston. This bad guy is different. When Boston invited Irving to what should have been a grand party, he defecated in your pool, snuck away, and blamed everyone else but himself.
Good riddance. See you soon. At least, all of Boston hopes.