Kyrie Irving slams sports gambling

Kyrie Irving delivered a thoughtful critique of sports gambling this week. Yes, that Kyrie Irving.

On a Twitch stream Thursday, Irving said that sports betting had “taken away the purity and the fun of the game at times.”

Irving drew a distinction between basketball fans supporting their favorite teams and those tracking their bets and parlays. Especially when it turns personal, with fans attacking players on social media for not hitting statistical marks and costing them their bets.

“If you gamble on me, I’m not going to tell you if it’s a good gamble or a bad gamble,” Kyrie told his Twitch audience. “I’m just saying, you gambling! You’re going to win or lose! But that doesn’t mean sliding into people’s DMs or wishing bad on them…It blows my mind sometimes.”

That happened to the Charlotte Hornets’ Terry Rozier recently, where a fan sent Rozier direct messages threatening to “knock yo ass out” at a specific game, simply for costing him a bet.

Clearly gambling is huge business for the NBA, and creates extra fan interest. But it’s not always the most welcome interest. It’s also a nihilistic way to follow the game, charting stats and point spreads more than wins and losses.

Irving called the gambling angle “distracting,” and trust us, Irving knows a lot about being a distraction. Mainly, Irving doesn’t think anyone should wager on him, because he doesn’t care about your bets.

“Don’t waste any money on me,” he said. “Gamble on something that makes sense.” When it comes to gambling, for once, Kyrie Irving is making sense.

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