The NBA’s 75th anniversary team was announced in October. But following Wednesday’s Nets win over the Knicks, Kyrie Irving was asked about his omission from the list.
“I think I’ll leave it to the conspiracy theorists,” Irving told reporters. “I think I was on the list, but I guess I’m not, so hey, like I said, maybe I’ll just wait 10 years, 20 years from now, hopefully with a few championships under my belt and talking with you guys on the court raising a few championship banners here in [Brooklyn]. That’s what it’s all about.”
When the list was originally announced, there were some internet sleuths who theorized Irving was snubbed due to his stance on the COVID-19 vaccine, pointing to videos of Irving tagged with “NBA 75.”
Evidently, Irving came across those conspiracies and found himself in agreement.
“It’s not necessarily about proving to somebody why I deserve to be on the list,” Irving said. “I know that I have a lot more work to do in this league, and I just want to leave it there so just like my game speaks for itself. I love being skilled, but by the time I leave and retire, I want to be known as a winner. A championship winner. Wanna have a few of those things and do it with a great group of guys and a great organization that believes in me, and the rest of it can be written by itself.”
Originally, Irving had said he wouldn’t take the bait on the topic, joking that maybe he’d make the team on the league’s 100th anniversary.
“If I’m up there with some of those guys, I don’t take it for granted,” he said. “It was a lot of lonely nights in the gym, a lot of sacrifices of time, being away from my family, being away from friends, not having an ideal childhood that everybody else has had, so to say, being a college dropout at Duke and just not being able to live what they say is a normal life: Get a 9-5 and pour into your passion.
“So this right here is a special game and it’s rewarded a lot of people. So if I can etch my name and be up there with some of the greats, I feel like I’m leaving the legacy I want to leave. It’s just a lot of hard work that goes into it, so I’m grateful for it.”