BOSTON – Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving says he plans to shoot sage before every game this season to honor Native American culture.
Irving was seen firing a sage – known as ” smudging ” – on the court at TD Garden during a warm-up before his Nets beat the Boston Celtics 113-89 on Friday night in the NBA preseason final for both teams .
“It just comes from a lot of indigenous tribes,” Irving said after the game. “Being able to sage, just clean the energy, make sure we’re all balanced. When we get into this job, we come into this place, not anything I don’t do at the house I made today.saged the last game, and I plan to sack almost every game if the opposing team lets me.
“But, literally, it’s more or less for us to stay connected and feel great about going to work and feel safe and prepared by our ancestors. I don’t I’m going to take too much spirituality to basketball, but yeah, it’s part of my native culture where I come from. “
Irving was inducted into the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe – of which his mother, Elizabeth, was a member – in the summer of 2018. When he was seen firing the sage before Friday’s game, it was speculated that having something to do with coming back and playing in Boston for the first time since leaving as a free agent to join the Nets last summer.
But it came as no surprise to his players.
“That’s his thing. Kyrie seems to be singing his roommate before he plays 2K when he gets home,” Kevin Durant told Cassidy Hubbarth at ESPN.
“That’s exactly what he’s doing. That gives us good energy. He’s doing it in the locker room. That’s his thing, and we all respect him. We’re respecting his approach, and he’s coming out here and playing really hard for us. “
As for the game itself, the Nets made a round trip, blowing out the Celtics a week before the two teams plan to meet in Boston on Christmas Day (5pm ET, ABC). Irving had 17 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists in 28 minutes, while Durant had 25 points and six rebounds in 27 minutes.
And, despite Irving ‘s departure from Boston, as well as the trials and tribulations that went into his second season with the Celtics, he was all laughing postgame. He had a long conversation and acceptance with Jerome Allen, the Celtics assistant coach, and exchanged greetings with former players Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Daniel Theis and Robert Williams.
Irving traded sweaters with Tatum and Williams, and had a long and interesting conversation with both Brown and Tatum before leaving the court. He later said that returning to play here was nothing special to him.
“It’s like another day at work, honestly,” Irving said. “I’m grateful to be able to have relationships with a lot of those people who are still here, boys who aren’t here yet. And, at the end of the day, we went to war together. And I respect all the young men down there.
“We’re not even young. We’re just young kings growing up in a business where we want to do what makes us happy. To see Jayson get better, to see Jaylen get better, to see these people mature and be in the positions they are in, I am only proud of them.To see other boys being happy, that is all I could want Getting here is easy, man, it’s easy to get involved here It’s easy to play here The basketball is the easy part It’s just the stuff outside an advance that becomes noisy, so I try to limit that. “