Kyrie is not about that loose ball mentality.
While running after a loose ball, Portland’s Nassir Little dove for the ball near Irving’s feet, tripping him up.
Kyrie got up but did walk off the court with a limp. Although he would return to the game, Irving spoke afterward about the danger of that play by Nassir:
“Just one of those bad plays, you know. I tried to get out of the way, but I just thought that was just, it was unnecessary for him to dive that far away from the ball. I was just trying to get out of the way.”
"It was an unnecessary play…I could've broke my ankle or done something worse. There's just no place in our game for it. I get the intent from Nassir…but it could've been avoided"
Kyrie Irving speaks on the diving play by Nassir Little that twisted his ankle pic.twitter.com/h42SQZ23m6
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) January 11, 2022
Kyrie continued about his frustration about the play that could’ve hurt him in his second game of the year:
“I asked the ref, you know he’s got to protect players out there, just totally unnecessary, I get Nassir wants to go for the ball, but just a bad play, it’s all good. I could’ve broke my ankle or done something worse. There’s just no place in our game for it. I get the intent from Nassir… but it could’ve been avoided.”
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Nassir Little took to Twitter to explain his side of the story, and showed little remorse about the incident:
“I would never hurt someone on purpose, I have the utmost respect for Kyrie! But y’all are delusional if you think this is a bad play, and id do it again. Idgaf what y’all talkin about.”
I would never hurt someone on purpose, I have the utmost respect for Kyrie! But y’all are delusional if you think this is a bad play, and id do it again. Idgaf what y’all talkin about https://t.co/kcChvvupG4
— Nassir Little (@2ez_nassie) January 11, 2022
It’s a bang bang play, and Little was just showing major hustle diving for the ball.
It did not appear like he was trying to intentionally do anything other than get to the ball, in my opinion.
Kyrie must not be used to all this live game action.