If Kyrie Irving has some extra motivation this season, we all may have ESPN to thank — or blame, depending on your rooting interest.
That’s because Irving made it pretty clear he didn’t care for the sports network listing him as the 34th-best player on its list of the top 100.
Now entering his first full season with the Mavericks, Irving didn’t hold back on his thoughts.
“Who. TF. cares. I Never will,” Irving wrote in a reply to the Instagram account Kyriecenter.
“Rankings don’t mean a damn thing in the league, especially not from ESPN or any of these other media platforms. Majority of the analysts are not credible sources in my eyes and I don’t respect them or their opinions.”
ESPN ranked Irving lower than many likely expected, writing that “a team-issued suspension and Brooklyn’s eventual granting of Irving’s trade request added to the eight-time All-Star’s turbulent track record.”
Irving and fellow backcourt star Luka Doncic failed to make even the play-in tournament after Irving arrived in a February trade with the Nets. You can chalk that up to injuries and it taking some time to integrate two major stars.
But there will be no excuses this season, after Irving signed a three-year, $126 million extension with the Mavs in June.
But good news for Mavs fans when it comes to excuses — Irving doesn’t make them. And now, he apparently has reason to be as motivated as ever.