Kyrie Irving, as he is prone to doing, raised plenty of eyebrows Friday by speaking out against the NBA's return-to-play plan in Orlando, Fla.
The former Boston Celtics guard said on a recent call with fellow players, per The Athletic, “I don’t support going into Orlando. I’m not with systematic racism and the (expletive). Something smells a little fishy.”
That statement sparked a conversation about how the NBA should proceed, but it also struck a nerve with Kendrick Perkins. The ex-C's big man criticized Irving for his comments during an interview on CBS Sports Radio.
Download the MyTeams app for the latest Celtics news and analysis
“He’s not a powerful voice; he’s a popular voice,” Perkins told The DA Show. “There’s a difference between being powerful and popular. Powerful, you’re actually moving the needle. No one is listening to Kyrie. The NBA is going to continue. All he’s doing is causing unnecessary drama between the NBA brothers that we don’t need right now.
“Him lashing out is just making news and making a whole bunch of noise for nothing because the NBA seasons is going to happen. LeBron James wants to play. Chris Paul wants to play. Russell Westbrook wants to play. Anthony Davis, Giannis — when they first voted for the NBA to come back, the vote was 28-0. Everybody wants to play.”
Even though the NBA has its 22-team return-to-play plan in place, it's clear there's still a lot to figure out before the games begin. However, as Perkins notes, a number of the league's biggest stars are on record hoping to return sooner rather than later if it's safe to do so.
As for Perkins ripping Irving, that should come as no surprise. After all, the ex-C's big man said back in February, "Every time I think of that guy, I want to throw up."
Safe to say this was one of those times.