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Kyrie Irving Responds to Stephen A. Smith's Comments After Nets Contract Opt-in

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 28, 2022

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Kyrie Irving wanted more of an explanation after being called out by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith on social media:

A11Even @KyrieIrving

<a href="https://twitter.com/stephenasmith?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@stephenasmith</a> you’re gonna have to explain yourself to people in your generation. I am not around many 50 plus year olds that speak and act like 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 post comes in response to a video from Smith discussing Irving opting into his contract with the Brooklyn Nets:

Stephen A Smith @stephenasmith

KYRIE opted in!!! <a href="https://t.co/89B4kzgJQG">pic.twitter.com/89B4kzgJQG</a>

"You know what it means to me? I guess he's a peon too, huh," Smith said. "So, you gotta go to work. You gotta show up for work. ... You got to go up there and earn that money."

Smith then responded angrily to Irving's tweet:

Stephen A Smith @stephenasmith

Oh, you’ve got it twisted bro! Big time! <a href="https://twitter.com/KyrieIrving?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KyrieIrving</a> <a href="https://t.co/sVt6KqvJs8">https://t.co/sVt6KqvJs8</a> <a href="https://t.co/pgaMbltEVX">pic.twitter.com/pgaMbltEVX</a>

Irving exercised his $37 million player option for 2022-23 following rumors of sign-and-trade scenarios, per Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic. The point guard reportedly submitted a list of teams for potential trades, while the Los Angeles Lakers showed interest in return, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

In the end, he will return to Brooklyn for a fourth season before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2023. After playing just 103 games over the last three years, the pressure is on to prove himself in order to land a new contract next summer.

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