Everything Kyrie Irving does these days is a story. Ever since the former flat-earther told the media that he thinks the world is not, in fact, round, Irving’s moves and thoughts off-court have been just as important as his play to many NBA fans.
On Friday night, Irving caught everybody’s attention once again. As the Brooklyn Nets guard prepared for a preseason throwdown with his former team, the Boston Celtics, Irving had all cameras on him from the moment he stepped foot on the court for warmups.
Typically, a player gets a light jog in with some exercise and shooting around — but Irving, as always, took a different approach. As he moved around the court at TD Garden, the home of the Celtics, the star guard was burning sage. Of course, it sent the internet into a frenzy on Friday night.
Some might think Irving only burned sage before the game because he was returning to Boston, where he had issues behind the scenes during his short two-year stint with the Cs. However, Irving explained after the game that despite the sage burning being a first-time thing before a game to the public in Boston, it won’t be a one-time thing.
“It just comes from a lot of native tribes,” Irving said after the game to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “Being able to sage, just cleanse the energy, make sure that we’re all balanced. When we come into this job, we come into this place, it’s not anything that I don’t do at home that I did today. I saged last game, and I plan to sage almost every game if the opposing team will allow me to. it’s more or less for us to stay connected and for us to feel great about going to work and feeling safe and provided for from our ancestors. I’m not going to bring too much of the spirituality into basketball, but yeah, it’s part of my native culture where I’m from.”
After the game, Irving’s teammate Kevin Durant mentioned that sage burning is just Kyrie Irving’s “thing.” Durant also joked that Irving probably sages his room before he plays a game of NBA 2K too. Whether that’s true or not is unknown — but Irving plans to keep his pre-game saging going moving forward.