For the past couple of years, Kyrie Irving has earned a reputation around the NBA for being a bit of a troublemaker. His views on conspiracy theories and vaccination made Kareem Abdul-Jabbar call him a buffoon, and he's often a subject of controversy.
Irving protested NYC's COVID-19 vaccine mandate last season. He refused to get vaccinated, even though that decision would prevent him from getting on the court to play with the Brooklyn Nets.
And even though he stood by his word and his decision throughout the whole campaign, Uncle Drew recently admitted that he's got some regrets about how that decision impacted the franchise.
NBA News: Kyrie Irving Reveals He Has Regrets About Last Season
"Do you have any regrets as you look back on last year -- about anything?
Irving: I'd be lying to you as a human being [if I said I didn't]. I think we all think about times we could have made better decisions, and times we wish we could have done things differently and I feel the same way at times throughout my life. ... I legitimately just want to play the long game and not put too much pressure on myself or the people that I'm around.
This is something that I get to do every day. We say it as a cliché sometimes, but nah, we just let the play handle [itself] -- enjoy the season, and then after that, we'll go back and look at some of this reflection time and talk about these things in deeper detail, but as of right now that can't be my focus."
Irving Thinks Nets Needed To Be Humbled
It's not the first time that Kyrie looks back on the season, how things went down, and how the Nets needed that wake-up call. That's why getting swept by the Celtics was a blessing in disguise, at least to him:
"Since we got 4-0'd, my G, we got 4-0'd... It was meant to happen like that," Kyrie said a couple of months ago. "Motivation, bro. We needed that humbling experience, especially going against the Celtics. You know, it was already built in to be that matchup."
"We gonna see them again," Irving continued. "We gonna have to. They gonna be where they gonna be but those youngins over there in Boston bro, I got to see them grow up. So to see them doing what they did last year, on the Finals stage, making it that far, I'm glad they had to go through us."
Irving picked up his player option for this season and is now playing for a new contract, so he better be focused on basketball and basketball alone. The Nets are still the team to beat on paper, but paper doesn't win championships.