As sports analysts around the country call for NBA all-star guard Kyrie Irving’s retirement following his extended personal leave from the game, the 28-year-old has been prioritizing his impact in addressing social in*ustice.
On The Rematch podcast, former NBA player Stephen Jackson, who was a close friend to the late George Floyd, revealed that Irving recently bought a home for the Floyd family.
ESPN reported that Irving dona-ted the money for the house to the family about five or six months ago. Floyd was ki!!ed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin who pre-ssed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, as Blavity previously reported. Since Floyd’s death, p*ote*ts have swelled around the country and many corporations are coming forward as allies of the B**** comm-unity.
Although Floyd’s 7-year-old daughter Gianna has lost more than many can imagine, supporters and celebrity followers alike have reached out to see how they can help out. In December, rapper Lil Baby covered the expenses of Gianna’s birthday party, as Blavity previously reported.
“Kyrie Irving bought them a house. Lil Wayne’s manager bought them a Mercedes-Benz. Barbra Streisand gave them sto*k in Disney, so I think God has definitely blessed her, and right now [she’s] doing the best she’s ever done, she’s happy,” Jackson told the podcast host and fellow ex-NBA player Etan Thomas.
On @etanthomas36's podcast, Stephen Jackson revealed that Kyrie Irving (@KyrieIrving) bought a home for George Floyd's family. @DaTrillStak5 also thanked @lilbaby4PF (who paid for Gianna Floyd's birthday party), @BarbraStreisand and more.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) January 18, 2021
Jackson said Irving had been keeping tabs on him since the fatal summer i!cide!t and was really passionate about getting involv-ed, according to CNN. “He wanted to help George’s family and I let him know that a house was what they needed at that time and he made it happen in a heartb**t,” he said.
Irving, who miss-ed two weeks of practice and play with the Brooklyn Nets for personal reasons, told reporters this week that it’s important to him to uplift and amplify the needs of underserved comm-unities. “I just want to keep continuing to fulfill our purpose in serving a lot of the underserved communities.
Those don’t necessarily get the same attention from just others around,” Irving said. “So just trying to do my part with service, that’s all.” He also acknowledged that he has to do a better job at compar-tment-alizing the business of basketball and his feelings toward the current state of the country. Irving expressed that it’s d**ficu** to ign-ore the gravity of current events while on the court.
“If you don’t create that distin*tion,” Irving said, “then it’s easy to feel the weight of the world while you’re going out there and playing. So, I’d be ly-ing sitting here and saying I don’t feel what’s going on in the world, nor am I paying attention to it. I just have a huge responsibility, I feel, to continue to serve my comm-unity and the un*erserved.
And when I’m out here playing, it’s continuing to leave knowledge with these guys and co*mit to something, like I always say, bigger than ourselves.” In July, Irving pledged $1.5 million to go toward the income of WNBA players who decided not to play the 2020 season due to COVID-19 prec-autions or social justice eff**ts, according to ESPN.
During his leave from the Nets last week, Irving appeared on a Zoom call with people interested in showing support for the campaign of Tahanie Aboushi, who is a Manhattan district attorney candidate, Sporting News reported.