The Nets players have said their group chat has sustained them during their shared COVID-19 nightmare. It’s been their own private place. Now, what may or may not have been said on the chat has become news. Stefan Bondy tweeted that Kyrie Irving suggested on the chat that NBA players form their own league. Several of his teammates called him out, saying it’s fake news.
The controversy started at around 6:30 with Bondy’s tweet...
In a recent chat group with Nets players, Kyrie Irving lobbied for skipping the bubble, the Daily News has learned. In that chat, he also proposed that the players can start their own league, according to a source. https://t.co/SqC0wcccPJ— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) June 16, 2020
It didn’t take long for Irving’s teammates to respond. First was Theo Pinson...
Then, after Bleacher Report picked up Bondy’s tweet, it was Chris Chiozza’s turn...
Y’all just making up shit about my guy now... cut the cap y’all really getting annoying https://t.co/Zg2L61vBjF— Chris Chiozza “FLASH” ⚡️ (@Chiozza11) June 17, 2020
Responses weren’t limited to Twitter. Caris LeVert went on Instagram, using the cap emoji —signifying an untruth or a lie— to express his feelings. Pinson agreed.
Assistant Coach Adam Harrington also seemed to express skepticism.
Why is it that so many will read a headline or one article and instantly turn that into what we believe about that subject or particular person? I personally have felt convicted about that lately and have decided to always dig deeper and educate myself more and more!!!!— Adam Harrington (@adampharrington) June 17, 2020
Even Fred VanVleet of the Raptors got on board...
Can we either get the names of the “sources” or just wait for the man to say something himself lol https://t.co/jtHVaRWvZw— Fred VanVleet (@FredVanVleet) June 17, 2020
Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report, who’s friendly with Irving, said that Irving did not say what Bondy wrote ... and added he had left the team chat...
Sources tell me that Kyrie Irving never stated that the Nets should begin their own league in response to the bubble.— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) June 17, 2020
I'm told that after that report came out, he left the group chat.
Ryen Russillo of The Ringer later tweeted out his own take. He said Irving had mentioned something similar in the past, but provided no details on whether it was a serious proposal or idle chatter.
Kyrie telling other players they should start their own league is not new. He’s talked to teammates about it this season. Based on what I was told KD was not as enthusiastic.— Russillo (@ryenarussillo) June 17, 2020
Taped a new Pod on it this morning. Out soon.
But then before midnight, Bondy seemed to take a step back, clarifying his earlier remarks...
To be clear on this, Kyrie Irving has proposed to his teammates they should start their own league, and it’s not necessarily in response to the bubble situation. https://t.co/x6pM4Dipc3— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) June 17, 2020
Overnight, Irving posted a series of messages and quotes from black activists from Tupac Shakur to Mohammed Ali to Angela Davis on his Instagram page.
Irving, of course, has been at the center of a players’ union debate on whether NBA players should go along with the Orlando “bubble” or use their time and resources on promoting social justice in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police three weeks ago.
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