Recently, many NBA stars have returned to their old home court for the first time since being traded and on Tuesday it will be Kyrie Irving’s turn at Barclays Center.
Former Net Kevin Durant and former Blazer Damian Lillard returned to Barclays Center and Moda Center last week and were both honored with a tribute video from their old teams.
But Irving believes that players returning to their old home court shouldn’t be a big deal, as the Mavs get ready to face off against the Nets.
“I think we just gotta normalize [this], Irving said, via Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News. “Obviously there’s some history there with certain teams. There’s a competitive edge that you have going into each game when you play against your former team. It’s not uncommon. It’s been happening for years. I was just saying that to say that to say let’s just normalize the emotions that go into these games instead of making it such a big deal.”
The Dallas guard went on to explain that he thinks reporters should just be focusing on the game at hand, rather than spinning another narrative.
“It’s nothing deeper to look into,” Irving said. “We need to do a better job of not making it into something else other than sports. We just need to normalize [the fan reactions]. It’s basketball. Fans are gonna be fans. Some people don’t love you, some people are not gonna like you [now] that you left. But it’s all part of the overall conglomerate that we are as a league.”
The Mavericks will take on the Nets at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at Barclays Center and it appears that Irving will play, alongside fellow superstar Luka Doncic.
The pair have only played in 24 out of 50 available games together this season due to various injuries.