VIDEO: Kyrie Irving, Bam Adebayo nearly break rules with illegal jersey swap
NBA All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Bam Adebayo were about to hug one out and exchange jerseys in the aftermath of the Brooklyn Nets’ 128-124 win over the Miami Heat at Barclays Center on Saturday. However, the supposed touching gesture never materialized after a security personnel prevented the pair from making close contact after the match.
Per the new NBA health and safety protocols for COVID-19, players are now prevented from making unnecessary contact on game nights, which includes the customary handshakes and hugging.
The Heat official was quick to take action upon seeing Irving and Adebayo almost break the rules, as he quickly yanked Bam away post-game.
Heat security had to break up Kyrie and Bam Adebayo from hugging after the game. pic.twitter.com/8rViHGY2Et
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) January 24, 2021
Thanks to the Heat staff’s quick thinking, Bam Adebayo and Kyrie Irving escaped what could have been a significant punishment from the NBA.
Irving and Adebayo likely wanted to swap uniforms as a sign of mutual respect for one another following their epic NBA duel on Saturday. The Heat forward finished with a career-best 31 points on 14-of-20 shooting, along with nine dimes and five boards in 38 minutes. But his effort went for naught after Uncle Drew led his Nets to victory. Irving tallied 28 points, six rebounds, seven assists, and one steal while shooting 10-for-17 from the field and 3-of-5 from deep.
Jersey swapping, meanwhile, has become a thing between opposing players over the last few seasons. This usually occurs when players figure in career-high performances or when one player is about to retire after the season.
However, with the threat of COVID-19 still around, looks like we won’t be seeing this gesture in the foreseeable future.