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Kyrie Irving on NBA 75th anniversary team: ‘I’ll leave it to the conspiracy theorists. I think I was on the list.’

Brooklyn Nets v New York Knicks

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 6: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets handles ball during game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on March 22, 2022 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michelle Farsi/Getty Images)

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The Nets published a video honoring Kevin Durant for making the NBA 75th anniversary team. The Nets published a video honoring James Harden for making the NBA 75th anniversary team. The Nets published a video honoring Kyrie Irving for making the NBA 75th anniversary team.

Of course, Irving didn’t make the 75th anniversary team.

Or so say they say.

The selections ascribed to a panel of voters (see their names here), the 75th anniversary team honored 76 players (including a tie). Irving wasn’t on the list. The Nets deleted their Irving video – captioned “Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving has been named to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team of the top 75 players in the league’s history” – shortly after all three videos were published in October, when the league announced the anniversary team.

Leave it to Irving to fuel a good conspiracy theory.

Nick Friedell of ESPN:

When the NBA released the 75th anniversary team, Irving was drawing significant attention for choosing not to get vaccinated. That decision made him despised in some corners. Enough that someone or someones pulled him from the anniversary team?

Probably not.

The simplest and most likely explanation: The Nets prepared the video in case Irving, a viable candidate for the anniversary team, was selected then mistakenly published it.

In addition to Occam’s razor, Hanlon’s razor also applies: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. Though the video shouldn’t have been made public, a minor mistake in publishing seems far more plausible than a grand conspiracy to omit a deserving Irving.

The league truly seems to have kept the list of 76 players under wraps until the official announcement. I saw no leaks about inclusions/exclusions. As Benjamin Franklin said, three can keep a secret if two of them are dead.

So, if Irving were removed from the anniversary team, it probably would have been done without the Nets’ knowledge. Which means the video the team published would be inconsequential to the conspiracy case.

But like with most conspiracy theories, the conclusion has been drawn first. The search for evidence can come later.