In the 114-108 victory over the Brooklyn Nets, Portland Trail Blazers wing Nassir Little had a diving hustle play in the fourth quarter that Nets point guard Kyrie Irving did not take kindly, stating in his post-game interview that he felt it was “unnecessary.” Irving apparently rolled his left ankle during the play, yet finished the game and will be able to play against Chicago.
Aaron Fentress of the Oregonian captured this quote from the post-game interview.
“It’s just one of those bad plays, ya know?” Irving said. “I tried to get out of the way but I just felt like that was just…It was unnecessary, you know? Like, for him to dive that far away to the ball. I was just trying to get out the way. But just an unnecessary play.”
“I get Nassir wants to go for the ball but, it’s just like, bro, it’s just a bad play,” Irving said. “It’s all good. I could’ve broken my ankle or done something worse. There’s just no place in our game for it. I get the intent from Nassir ... But it couldn’t been avoided.”
Here is the diving play by Nassir Little that Kyrie Irving felt was ‘unnecessary.’ Irving rolled his left ankle but finished the game and said he’ll be available for Chicago. pic.twitter.com/4qOkQpEl6j— DaveEarly (@DavidEarly) January 11, 2022
In response, Little took to Twitter to defend his actions, stating that he would never deliberately try to hurt another player.
I would never hurt someone on purpose, I have the utmost respect for Kyrie! But y’all are delusional if you think this is a bad play, and id do it again. Idgaf what y’all talkin about
Perhaps Irving has not met a player that hustles like Nassir Little in recent weeks, for despite his perspective, the referees did not call a foul on the play.