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The NBA on Wednesday officially announced the voting results for the 2021-22 regular-season awards.
Each year, a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters votes for the awards, but one media member, Jalen Rose, appears to regret one of his choices.
Prior to Game 5 between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat on Wednesday, Rose expressed his regret for being the only person to vote for Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving as a third-team All-NBA player. Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young received the award after getting 77 third-team votes.
“I need to fall on the sword because I’m the lone person that voted Kyrie Irving third-team All-NBA,” Rose said on ESPN’s “NBA Countdown.” “Now, I get mesmerized by his talent, but it was a mistake to put him on third team. I’m glad that didn’t cost Trae Young his spot, who deserved it more. So, I’m going to owe that.”
Fellow analyst Stephen A. Smith then appeared to lose it after learning of Rose’s decision on the air.
“I want you to explain what in God’s name made you think at any point that Kyrie Irving, who played 29 games this year, missed 53 games. How in God’s name is he a third-team All-NBA? On any day, any hour, any minute of this season. How?!” Smith asked.
“First off, I don’t think you heard the part about, [where] I said that was a mistake,” Rose responded. “That was a bad decision.”
Rose then went into the reasoning behind his decision, saying that Irving was a dominant player last season when the star point guard was healthy and on the court.
Irving played 29 games for the Nets last season, averaging 27.4 points and 5.8 assists per game.
Irving had refused to get a coronavirus vaccine and was ruled out by the organization at the start of the season. He later returned to play away games before New York City dropped its mandate.
He made his Nets 2021-22 season debut on Jan. 5 and was a big reason why Brooklyn was able to limp into the playoffs. The team was later swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round.
“First of all, nobody has ever questioned the greatness of Kyrie Irving as a talent,” Smith said. “We know he’s box office, he’s that spectacular. Not only me, you were on the record stating his lack of availability, his unwillingness to take one for the team, to get vaccinated … [which] disqualified him from everything.”
“And then behind our back like a thief in the night, just slid in this vote … for him? He don’t even get to be All-NBA G-League after the way he disappeared for the whole … season. You have got to be crazy,” Smith added.