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Stephen A. Smith dares Nets’ Kyrie Irving to retire

Nets, Kyrie Irving

All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving has not played for the Brooklyn Nets for a week and has missed the team’s last four games. It is unclear when Irving will return as he remains “off the grid” for personal reasons, and his return could be further delayed as the NBA investigates videos of him attending a party, which could mean a costly violation of the league’s health and safety protocols.

But if it were up to ESPN anchor Stephen A. Smith, Irving should just hang up the sneakers and retire instead of returning to the Nets, a position he made clear on an episode of First Take on Wednesday morning.

While Smith credited Irving for speaking out and donating to various social causes and helping the community for most of his career, he stressed that the 28-year old point guard has not been good for the Nets, from his teammates such as Kevin Durant to general manager Sean Marks to their first-year head coach Steve Nash.

Despite his off-court issues this season, the six-time All-Star has been brilliant when on the court this season, averaging 27.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.6 steals while shooting 50.4% from the field and 42.6% from beyond the arc. He has shown why the Nets were picked as one of the favorites to reach the NBA Finals before the season began.

Without Irving, Brooklyn has gone 2-2, picking up their latest win over the Denver Nuggets, 122-116, with Durant leading the team. The Nets will face their crosstown rivals, the New York Knicks, on Wednesday, with Irving already ruled out of the game as the timetable for his return remains unclear.