Last season, numerous WNBA players elected to sit out the 2020-21 season due to Covid-19 concerns or protesting against police brutality and social justice reform.
Players who did not have a doctor’s concerns note that the WNBA acknowledge went without pay by the league. However, Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving decided to step up and donated $1.5 million.
“Whether a person decided to fight for social justice, play basketball, focus on physical or mental health, or simply connect with their families, this initiative can hopefully support their priorities and decisions,” Irving said in a statement.
Last season after it was announced, Sue Bird shared that Irving donation was “admirable.”
“Yeah, I think Kyrie [Irving] is the kind of guy he sees outside himself a lot of the time, extremely unselfish, and this is just another example of that. Obviously, everyone sees the big number, you know, $1.5 million, and they can get caught up in that,” said Bird.
Two of the players that Irving spoke to was Natasha Cloud and Jewell Loyd.
On Wednesday, Cloud was a guest in the WBB WEEKLY room on Clubhouse hosted by Khristina Williams. During the questions and answer session, and I asked her about influencing the initiative. I also asked her to speak on Kyrie’s character and if he’s picking up where Kobe Bryant left off.
“If y’all are doing stories on KAI or know people that are doing stories on KAI. Y’all gotta give my man a break because far too often. We make him into a villain,” said Cloud.
“He truly is such an authentic person, and I think in a lot of instances we see this too. I hate bullies ever since I was young. I got sent home one-time in the third grade because I punched a bully in the face. I don’t play when it comes to bullying. I think far too often, especially in the media, and we bully Kyrie for him being different.}”
“Him being different is what makes him beautiful. It’s what makes him who he is. I was able to go and visit him. His house is in Jersey; I’m right in Philly. So, during that process of him stepping up for our league [WNBA] and stepping up for his queens that decided to sit out because they weren’t comfortable going into “Wubble.” Whether it was for health or social justice reasons, he took care of us, and he invited me up there, and I was able to sit down.
Pick his mind and talked to him. He’s such a f***ing phenomenal person. He has the biggest heart, but also he has been taken advantage of so often in his career. However, when he stands up for himself, he is made to look like the bad guy. This a genuine guy that is so in tune and touch with his spiritual side. So, I celebrate him because he has been nothing but genuine to our league and me.”
As far as following in Kobe Bryant’s footsteps, “absolutely he is”.
“Kobe was his mentor, and when you hear him talk about Kobe, you can hear the love and the passion that he has for him. And the hurt that he has for losing him. So, he understands what he was trying to do. So, he is trying to carry that torch for him =, and I think that is an amazing way to carry on his legacy. And I can’t speak highly enough about Kyrie, but I be ready to fight y’all when you write all of these stories on him. He is just a genuine dude.”
Cloud just signed a three year extension to stay in Washington, according to Williams.
This season for the Nets, Irving is averaging 27.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game.