Nassir Little responds to Kyrie Irving on comments about diving

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Kyrie Irving is perhaps the most skilled playmaker in NBA history.

But in a small example of why that didn’t translate into Irving being the better A playmaker in NBA history, he got angry when Trail Blazers forward Nassir Little tried to make an action game close to him in Portland’s victory over the Nets yesterday.

Irving, via Brian Lewis of the New York Post:

“I was like a man, it’s just not a good game for basketball. I could have broken my ankle or done something worse. It’s just that there is no place in our game for that.

“But obviously I get Nassir’s intention, it’s nothing against him. It’s just that it could have been avoided. You know, I try to free myself, he dives between my legs. I jump out of the way at this point. I’m in the air and then I twist my ankle. But everything is fine. We move forward.

“I’ll be fine. It’s a bad room, just one of those bad rooms, you know? said Irving. “Yeah, I tried to pull away, but I just felt like he didn’t have to dive so far off the ball.

“I was just trying to get out of it. But just a useless game. I asked the refs, just you just have to protect our players over there. It’s just totally unnecessary. I understand that Nassir wants to go get the ball, but it’s like my brother, it’s just a bad game. It’s perfect. “

Little:

I’m on Little’s side here. Rather than get down for the ball, Irving slowed down and tried to shield Little from the ball by standing close to him. Is Little just supposed to give up the game while the ball is still in bounds? He had a viable path to get it without going through Irving.

It would have been a shame if Irving injured himself on the coin. But some perfectly acceptable games carry a higher risk of injury than others.

The game isn’t just about protecting Irving. Basketball is a contact sport and players should play with that mindset.

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