Kevin Durant believes Kyrie Irving’s sharp tongue sometimes puts him at odds with the masses.
The Brooklyn Nets superstar claimed Wednesday during his appearance on the ELITE Media Group’s “Play For Keeps” podcast his teammate has become a lightning rod for criticism because he tells it like it is, regardless of the consequences. Fans and pundits alike have teed off on Irving for years, as his outspokenness about on- and off-court matters garners not only attention but also responses from far and wide.
“What does misunderstood mean?” Durant said when asked whether he believes Irving is “misunderstood,” per The Score. “I think the truth sometimes can hurt a lot of people. When you tell the raw truth, especially in this society, it’s frowned upon. Kyrie just tells it how it is. There’s no sugarcoating. If he walks into the gym one day and says, ‘I don’t like how this is going,’ it’s probably not going well. But he just don’t mind voicing it.”
Irving’s penchant for speaking out bristled some he encountered during his two seasons with the Boston Celtics, and he reportedly has continued doing so in Brooklyn, first raising issues about the direction of the Nets and then over the NBA’s plan to resume its season at Walt Disney World.
Whether Irving’s stances on such topics represent the objective truth are matters for debate. What seems clear, however, is Durant’s enduring willingness to stick up for his teammate publicly at any and every turn.