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Kyrie Irving has managed to avoid controversy now that he’s a Dallas Maverick. But he’s courting it now with his response to not being selected for the Olympic basketball team.

On Wednesday, the team’s roster was released. The team consists of LeBron James, Steph Curry, Joel Embiid, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Jayson Tatum, Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday, Bam Adebayo, Anthony Edwards and Tyrese Haliburton.

Though Irving was a finalist who won gold with the US in 2016, he was not selected to this team. During media availability on Thursday, Irving started off cordially, saying he supported the team. “I wish my brothers well,” he said. “I just didn’t fit into this team. I think the deliberation process was a tough one. But again, I have nothing but respect for those guys over at USAB. You know, at this point in my career, I think that my focus should be on winning [the] championship and in the summertime just going to support those guys when I get a chance.”

But then Irving added, unprompted, “I grew up in a time, too, where we actually had to try out for USAB, and we did meet up as a group and as peers and there was a mutual respect that we earned from one another in trying out, I kind of miss those days of just being able to get everybody together, break bread and then compete against one another. … I miss that fun part of it, but I wish my brothers well.”

Surprisingly, given how polarizing he has been at his previous stops, especially during his time with the Brooklyn Nets, some fans thought he should have made the squad.

“He’s basically saying I’ll bust them n—-as asses, but peace, king,” one post said. Another kept it simple – “Should have been on the roster man, ain’t nothing keeping him off but hate.”

Still others pointed out that someone in the dozen is likely to get injured before the Olympics opener on July 26.

Irving and Mavs star Luka Dončić have bonded and so far, things have been good in Dallas which heads into the playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers this weekend. The Mavs finished fifth with a respectable 50-32 record. Irving says he learned to protect himself after becoming the media’s whipping boy in Brooklyn.

“Somehow I was called a chaos agent…There was this narrative that I’m a locker room cancer… I didn’t want to be the butt of anyone’s joke,” he said in the same interview. “I don’t mind (it)… but not at the expense of my teammates’ success and our success as an organization.”

Grant Hill, the managing director of men’s basketball for Team USA says the selection process incorporated players who he believed could best put the United States in position to win gold.

“A lot of thought did go into, and I’m sure everyone on here understands that the FBA game is a different game than the NBA game,” Hill told the media, as reported by USA Today. “And so you want players whose games certainly translate on that stage.

He added, “I’ll be honest, I learned a great deal having gone through last summer. I learned certainly the teams, the elite teams, the teams that seriously have a chance to contend for gold medal. I learned the diversity and styles and just to feed the game overall. I mean, you go through a World Cup, you really pick up on quite a deal, quite a bunch.”

See how social media is reacting to the snub below.


Kyrie Irving Responds To Being Snubbed From Team USA 2024 Olympic Team, Social Media Reacts  was originally published on