Matt Barnes reveals why Kyrie Irving ‘flipped the script’ of NBA restart
Former NBA journeyman Matt Barnes went off in a recent Instagram Live conversation with his co-host Stephen Jackson, spilling the tea as to why Kyrie Irving “flipped the script” on the NBA restart.
Out of the woodwork, Irving surfaced as the leader of a coalition of NBA players raising concerns about resuming the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney World in Orlando.
Barnes criticized Irving for speaking out against the return-to-play plan, noting there are better ways to go about inducing social justice than boycotting the season. In doing so, he dropped a bombshell, citing Irving’s reason for playing devil’s advocate against the league:
“We can’t let this s**t go,” Barnes told Jackson on Instagram Live. “LeBron and CP, Kyrie needs to stop bulls****ing, because what I heard was Kyrie wanted to go to Orlando to support his team — they didn’t let him, and then he flipped the script talking about I’ma give up everything…
Sitting out without a cause or a purpose defeats the purpose. And then it also divides us. They all gotta get on the same page, open up that communication and understand the moment.”
Full quote from Matt Barnespic.twitter.com/02JOSPbQou
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) June 16, 2020
Barnes kept it 100% with his co-host and former teammate Stephen Jackson, who has been known to support Irving’s decision to take a stand to bring light to the Black Lives Matter movement and bring justice for the death of his longtime friend George Floyd.
Yet enacting social change is only one of the myriad reasons a group of NBA players is resisting a return to play. Others have cited concerns over the stringent policies that would keep them away from their families, as well as the lack of insurance for potential career-derailing injuries that may arise after a long layoff.
Others, like Barnes noted, were concerned about the extent of the coronavirus pandemic and how safe it would be to play in the midst of it.
“If it’s COVID and you’re putting your family at risk, I get that,” said Barnes. “But if it is for the movement of the country right now — we have to take charge of this s**t.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver remains optimistic the league and the players will find a way to compromise and address the issues at hand before the proposed restart date of July 30.