“His foot happened to be in the way?!”- Kyrie Irving calls out Giannis Antetokounmpo for ankle injury in 2021 playoff series

Kyrie Irving was injured after awkwardly landing on Giannis Antetokounmpo's foot and was out for the remaining series and the Playoffs. Kyrie recently addressed it but was it a subtle dig at Giannis?

Kyrie Irving injury in 2021 Playoffs
Kyrie Irving injury in 2021 Playoffs

Kyrie Irving has had his ups and downs this season. First, the New York mandate made it compulsory for everyone to have a vaccine to be able to enter any arena. Kyrie would have been available only for the road games, but that too was taken away as the Nets decided not to include Kyrie at all. Then he was called to play the road games which is where we currently are.

Barclays Center
New York mandate requires everyone in Barclays Center and other arenas to be vaccinated

But it is not only Kyrie who has had his ups and downs. The whole of the Nets’ big three have faced them and are still facing. Last season, Kyrie went out due to personal reasons for a few games. James Harden joined the team and Harden and Durant played until Kyrie joined. Then Kevin Durant missed an extended amount of time due to injury, during which Kyrie and Harden carried the team. Durant came back, but this time Harden was injured and he went out.

The Brooklyn Nets Big-3 of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden
The Brooklyn Nets Big-3 of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden

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Thankfully for the Nets, come playoffs, the big three were ready and in fine form. The trio dominated the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals stage. They averaged a combined 85 points per game for the series. James Harden was again injured and had to go out. Subsequently, Kyrie injured himself in the Eastern Conference Semi-Final series against the Milwaukee Bucks. Kyrie awkwardly landed on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s foot, forcing him to miss the remaining playoffs.

Kevin Durant with Kyrie Irving
Kevin Durant with Kyrie Irving

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This season is not proving to be very different as one of the big three is out due to one reason or another. Kevin Durant’s left knee injury will keep him out for 4-6 weeks. Now, it is back to Harden and Kyrie in the road games and Harden only in the home games.

Kyrie Irving recalls the injury incident from last season 

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kyrie Irving
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving, in a post-game interview, was asked about this rocky journey of the big three. Kyrie quoted – “It’s a lot to process. What we intended to be and what we still intend to be. But all these hiccups and uncontrollable things…In the playoffs last year, James [Harden] goes out and then I am going for a shot and Giannis comes over and his foot just happens to be in the way?!” and then he went on to talk about the problems this season. Kyrie may or may not hold Giannis directly responsible, but the truth is Kyrie went out due to it and it was a big blow to the Nets’ chances. 

Kyrie Irving, however, tried to give some hope to the fans saying – “I think it is one of those things where real life takes precedence over the game…And I want to say that our time is coming and, it may not be now. But I feel some of the things that have happened for a reason and it is for a bigger purpose.”

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