Mayor Eric Adams had a bit of trash talk for Kyrie Irving Monday morning following news that the talented but oft-troubled player will be traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Dallas Mavericks.
During an interview with morning host Pat Kiernan on NY1, Adams was asked to envision City Hall as a professional sports team and Irving as a staffer.
“If City Hall was a professional sports team, and you had an employee who gave you as much drama as Kyrie Irving is giving to the Brooklyn Nets, what would you do if that employee said, ‘Could you trade me’ — would you do the trade?” Kiernan asked, prompting a chuckle from Adams.
The mayor replied, “I will find the team that beats us the most and send him to that team, because then we’ll start beating that team.”
“It’s about synergy in energy. No matter how much talent you have, your ability to interact with your colleagues is more important,” Adams continued.
“One player can bring down the synergy of the team — and so I would send him to the team that beats us the most so we can start winning better.”
The Nets traded Irving and veteran forward Markieff Morris to the Mavericks in exchange for guard Spencer Dinwiddie, forward Dorian Finney-Smith, an unprotected 2029 first-round selection and 2027 and 2029 second-rounders.
Irving came to Brooklyn in 2019 but played a measly 143 out of a possible 278 games due to his refusal to adhere to New York’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Even after missing nearly two-thirds of the season, Irving ripped Adams’ move to end New York City’s private employer vaccine mandate — a policy he kept in place for city workers.
Irving took to social media in September to blast the policy, writing: “If I can work and be unvaccinated, then all of my brothers and sisters who are also unvaccinated should be able to do the same, without being discriminated against, vilified, or fired.”
He continued: “This enforced Vaccine/Pandemic is one the biggest violations of HUMAN RIGHTS in history.”
His criticisms came even after Adams lifted the private-sector vaccination mandate for professional athletes and performers in local venues, allowing Irving to play home games at the Barclays Center.
This season, Irving was suspended without pay for eight games after he promoted an anti-Semitic movie and has had several contentious contract negotiations — the last one becoming the final breaking point.