Stephen A. Smith vs Kyrie Irving: Know all about the greatest modern-day beef in NBA prior to the 2022-23 NBA season

The Kyrie Irving and Stephen A Smith saga is spreading like a wild fire, as their beef extends beyond any end.

Kyrie Irving vs Stephen A Smith, who wins out ?
Kyrie Irving vs Stephen A Smith, who wins out ?

Kyrie Irving is dueling hard in a 1v1 War of Words against Stephen A Smith, and neither of them is backing down! Kyrie Irving has been the most trolled and criticized player throughout the season. The Brooklyn Nets had one of the most nightmarish seasons, with catastrophes on and off the court, as the Nets were swept off their feet by the Boston Celtics in the first round of playoffs, concluding their disappointing season and a disastrous postseason, far below preseason hopes and expectations. Kyrie Irving is considered as the player with the best handles in league, one thing he cant handle is disrespect towards him and Stephen A Smith is throwing it all at him.

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant have been at the fore of that disappointment and mockery, the star leaders of a club, that on paper could have reached The Finals. Last January, the Nets brought James Harden to the already existing duo of Kyrie Irving and KD. This year, they were forced to trade him, as they plummeted from the #2 seed to barely getting a play-in spot, and got swept in the first round. All this has led to people questioning the future for the Brooklyn duo, and its doesn’t seem so bright, with Stephen A Smith emerging as the main Kyrie critic.

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“You’ve got it twisted bro! Big time” – Stephen A Smith and Kyrie Irving trade blows throughout the entire 2021-22 season

Stephen A. Smith, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving
Stephen A. Smith, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving

Ever since the 2021-22 season began, Stephen A. Smith’s criticism or opinion over Kyrie Irving hasn’t stopped or halted. Even when the Brooklyn Nets have been thrown out of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics, Irving seems to not drag himself controversy. Perhaps this time on the other end was sports media personality Stephen A. Kyrie Irving has been the most trolled and criticized player throughout the season. As he decided to stay firm on his decision of not getting vaccinated. Due to his decision of staying unvaccinated, he was ruled out from playing basketball in the league due to New York City’s vaccine mandate. 

Each player in the NBA has a different way of handling troublesome fans and overcritical analysts on social media. While some prefer to simply ignore those comments and carry on with their lives, there are many who make sure to give a befitting reply to these fans. Irving is one who does the talking on the court rather than on social media, however, a trigger is all you need to unleash the frustration the players face due to such uneducated fans.

ESPN’s Stephen A Smith has consistently criticized Nets guard Kyrie Irving for his unavailability while with the Nets and his latest video sparked a response from Irving on Twitter. Just an extension of one of the most intriguing beefs of modern day NBA.

Kyrie also was waiting for his turn to fire back at critics, and he returned the favor to the 54-years old TV Personality. “@stephanasmith you’re gonna have to explain yourself to people in your generation,” Irving said in a tweet. “I am not around many 50 plus year olds that speak and act as you do, so this is new for me. But I am sure my father and my uncles can meet you on your level better than I can. We know you STEPHEN.”

The aftermath of last season has left the Nets in shambles, while Kyrie Irving has decided to opt into his $36.5 million player option for the 2022-23 season, thus delaying his free agency for another year. Brooklyn has reportedly been unwilling to offer Irving a full max extension without financial concessions from Irving, like incentives or non-guaranteed years.

Kyrie Irving and Stephen A. Smith
Kyrie Irving and Stephen A. Smith

However, he can still join the Lakers by opting out of the last year on his contract and signing for them through their $6 million taxpayer midlevel exception or picking up his player option and having L.A. and Brooklyn engineer a trade that would send him to California. “No matter what options you may think you have down the road, it all starts with you having to show up to work first,” Smith had another jab at the Brooklyn Point Guard for choosing to opt-in.

Kyrie Irving has been the most trolled and criticized player throughout the season. As he decided to stay firm on his decision of not getting vaccinated. Due to his decision of staying unvaccinated, he was ruled out from playing basketball in the league due to New York City’s vaccine mandate.

While both Irving and Durant joined the Nets during the summer of 2019, it’s been an era of disappointment and untapped potential thus far. The Big 3 of the Nets, consisting of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden played just 16 games together, making it hard to cash in fully on their names. Durant missed a quarter of this season due to a knee injury, Irving missed nearly two-thirds due to his refusal to get vaccinated, and Harden demanded a trade, one that brought back Ben Simmons, who still hasn’t played a game.

Kyrie Irving failed to lead the Brooklyn Nets past the first round of the playoffs this season. The whole scenario surrounding the team had been extremely upsetting considering the amount of the hype that was created on them making a title run once they had a full roster, but it was a complete hundred and eighty. Smith catalogued several of the controversial decisions and statements Irving has made throughout his career, from leaving Boston after promising fans he would stay, to leaving Cleveland and later admitting he wronged LeBron James.

Kyrie Irving is a superstar, but over the years he has used excuses to not play in basketball games. While he is one of the most gifted players we have ever seen, his love for basketball does not seem to be as strong as it should be for a player of his caliber. Kyrie has taken breaks from games because of social justice issues and even stated personal reasons to go and party.  Something that Stephen A Smith has disliked for a long time in him, he has voiced his discontent multiple times, including when Kyrie discredited the media in April.

“You can try to paint this issue, Kyrie, as anything you want to. What it comes down to is you don’t want to show up to work. You want to do what you want to do, when you want to do it, how you want to do it, while you got your hand out for someone else’s money. And then when you get called on it, we’re the peons. We’re the ones who are puppets.

So before you excoriated us. Now you’re pitying us. Because you want to highlight the puppet masters who you are worth billions to. You’re not worth billions, bro. Millions, yes. Billions, no. That’s delusional. You gave that up years ago.” Kyrie has also recently ranted on his Instagram Live after Smith called him “the most selfish player ever”, asking him what is he even talking about.

Kyrie Irving and Stephen A. Smith
Kyrie Irving and Stephen A. Smith

2012 Rookie of the year Kyrie was getting a Megastar treatment at Cleveland Cavaliers (actually was less criticized) and even was highly praised for his contributions in the 2016 NBA Championship. But since he left Cleveland, he was on every analyst’s radar who was looking to take a dig at the PG for any actions he does. His move to Celtics was denounced while his move to Nets was also condemned.

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant
Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant

It’s certainly a triple-double of problems, problems and more problems for the Nets as they face plenty of questions financially and technically. From figuring out a way for the team to get over the lows and win a championship, the team also has to take care of the business side and make sure they can continuously support the franchise financially to keep competing in the future. As for Kyrie and Stephen A Smith, their 1v1 duel continues into the postseason.

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