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Report: Kyrie Irving proposed players start a new league in group chat with Nets teammates

Jack Baer
Writer

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving appears to have much bigger plans than just leading a minority of NBA players against the league’s restart.

During a group chat with Nets teammates, Irving proposed that the players can start their own league, according to the Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.

Bondy later clarified the plan was not necessarily in response to the NBA’s bubble plan. Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks posted a similar report, and added that Irving reportedly left the group chat in question after reports emerged of his proposal.

In response to the NBA’s plan or not, it’s a bold strategy, and yet the source isn’t too surprising.

Kyrie Irving has been pushing against NBA’s return

That proposal comes while Irving lobbies against players joining their teams in the bubble at Disney World. A group of more than 80 players discussed the matter on a conference call last week, with Irving saying he strongly preferred focusing on the movement against racial injustice that has emerged following the killing of George Floyd.

Floyd’s death seems to be weighing heavily on Irving, who will not be playing in Disney World either way after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery. Retired NBA veteran Stephen Jackson, a friend of Floyd’s, said that Irving has called him crying more than once about the topic.

Kyrie Irving has been a loud voice as the NBA tries to restart its season. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Irving and a group of other players released a statement on Friday declaring they wanted to fight a system of “Use” and “Abuse.” Perhaps Irving saw the reported players league idea as a way to push in that direction.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley, a fellow leader on Irving’s side, told ESPN on Tuesday that the group is seeking better hiring practices for black front office and coaching candidates, donations to black communities and partnerships with black-owned business and vendors.

The NBA and NBPA are reportedly discussing how to address those issues, with no definitive plan yet.

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