Having ignored Kyrie Irving’s recent instructions to cease discussing his NBA future, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy attacked the soon-to-be free agent on Twitter, leading to an online spat between the controversial figures.
Irving recently made waves for having the nerve to ask fans and media to refrain from talking about his future in Dallas as he weighs moving on to a fifth team in seven years.
Then on Monday, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Irving is trying to lure former teammate LeBron James to the Mavericks.
Responding to Charania’s tweet, Portnoy, an avowed Irving-hater, wrote on Twitter: ‘It’s amazing how many seemingly intelligent people fall for the Kyrie scam.’
Irving didn’t admonish Charania for reporting about him, but seemed to take offense at Portnoy’s dig, writing: ‘Make sure you’re taking care of yourself David. You can only run your mouth for so long before Karma catches up. Be well.’
Portnoy, an avowed Celtics fan, has waged war on Irving since his doomed stint in Boston
Portnoy was responding to Irving’s reported attempt to lure LeBron James to the Mavericks
Irving appeared to take issue with Portnoy’s dig, and responded with a meme of Jack Harlow
Irving’s post included a meme of rapper Jack Harlow saying, ‘You gotta bring your ‘A’ game.’
Portnoy responded with a meme of his own: A shot of Bill Murray’s character from the film, Kingpin, pretending to shudder in fear.
James is under contract for $46.9 million for the 2023-24 season, making a trade with Dallas nearly impossible, unless the Mavericks were to surrender 24-year-old franchise cornerstone Luca Doncic, which seems unlikely.
But while such a move may not be practical, the report is the latest apparent attempt by Irving to pressure teams to make personnel decisions based on his whims.
Previously, in Brooklyn, Irving reportedly pushed for the trade to acquire James Harden, only to share his sense of relief after the former MVP was sent packing to Philadelphia a year later.
Irving was also blamed for the dismissal of head coach Steve Nash, who was apparently being ignored by the All-Star guard. A scout told the New York Post that Irving had begun defying Nash by deliberately ignoring play calls from the sideline.
Portnoy responded with a meme of his own: A shot of Bill Murray’s character from Kingpin
Celtics fans, including Portnoy, took issue with Irving after the Australian-born New Jersey product promised to return to Boston, only to leave for Brooklyn as a free agent. He then made similar comments about staying with the Nets before ultimately being traded to Dallas at the 2023 deadline.
His time in Dallas has been disappointing thus far after the Mavericks failed to reach the playoffs.
The market for Irving in free agency is difficult to gauge.
On one hand, he’s been among the league’s most prolific scorers when he’s been on the court and engaged with his teammates.
On the other, due to controversies over Irving’s refusal to get vaccinated and his promotion of film containing anti-Semitic material, he hasn’t played more than 60 games in a single season since 2016. He’ll also be turning 32 this season – an age when many speedy guards tend to slow down.
The soon-to-be free agent was spotted at a recent Lakers-Nuggets playoff game in Los Angeles, sparking rumors that Irving could leave the Mavs for a reunion with James in Lakerland.
But upon hearing the rumors, Irving took to social media to ask the public not to draw any conclusions about his courtside Lakers seats,.
‘Stop mentioning me on Twitter,’ Irving said on Instagram. ‘All y’all fan bases. Stop mentioning me right now please. It is still the…Conference Finals…Can you please leave me the f*** out of this.’
Following Irving’s Instagram post, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith responded on ‘: ‘If you don’t want us to talk about you as a basketball player, quit, because we’re going to talk about you.’