kyrie irving
Trevor Ruszkowski | USA TODAY Sports

The only logical explanation for Jalen Rose giving Kyrie Irving an All-NBA vote — because he certainly did not provide one — is that it was a work to get a rise out of Stephen A. Smith.

And mission accomplished!

Look at Mike Wilbon. He has to be wondering if inventing sports television debating with Tony Kornheiser was worth it in this moment.

To recap: Irving curiously received one vote for third-team All-NBA. This despite barely playing for the Nets this season. Rose then admitted he voted for Irving during ESPN’s NBA Countdown before expressing regret.

“I get mesmerized by his talent,” Rose said. “But it was a mistake to put him on third team.”

You think?

“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 third-team All NBA on any day, any hour, any minute of this season?” Smith said. “How?”

Rose argued this was a “unique season.” Which is ridiculous, of course. The 2019-20 season with a pandemic and the bubble was unique. The abbreviated and delayed 2020-21 season in mostly empty arenas was unique. This year was basically a normal season involving one guy who refused to get a vaccine.

“When Kyrie Irving decided to play for whatever reason, he was as dominant as any player in the league,” Rose said. “And he was one of the top 15 performers when he was in uniform.”

Key word: Decided.

“You were on the record stating his lack of availability and his unwillingness to take one for the team, to get vaccinated … and then behind our backs, like a thief in the night, you slid in this vote for him? For him? He doesn’t even get to be All-NBA G League after the way he participated for the whole season. You’ve got to be crazy.”

Or he is really good at generating content.

James Kratch can be reached at


James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.