We’re only a week into the NBA season, but Kyrie Irving’s conspiracy-wary, fake-deep, auspiciously Kobe-adjacent persona is in peak form already. The latest episode of The Kylight Zone aired Thursday afternoon, before the Celtics faced off the Bucks in Milwaukee, on a retro-fitted court called “Return to the MECCA,” in the old Milwaukee Arena, rather than the BMO Harris Bradley Center that usually hosts Bucks games. It’s all in an effort to celebrate the franchise’s 50th anniversary.
Kyrie apparently needed not one, not two, but three steps to get worried about the new court’s feel.
“This is not the same NBA court I’m used to playing on,” he told reporters. “I know this is a pretty older court and it looks like it’s fresh-painted as well.”
Why does Kyrie think the court looks freshly painted? Perhaps the paint wasn’t just an aesthetic upgrade to the old boards, but rather a part of the process of installing a brand-new court that merely looked like the Bucks’ retro court. This is not something that the franchise has been preserving in fermented jars underneath the city hall.
Kyrie thought his feet would be grazing the same creaky, wooden planks that Bucks legend Marques Johnson once did many years ago. It didn’t take long for the franchise to subtweet Kyrie’s hilarious belief.
There’s a social media assistant in Milwaukee who just copped a bonus off of this. They better pay Kyrie 10 percent for the content. I’m only slightly surprised that the Twitterer didn’t take the opportunity to include a “the court is flat” dig.
As far as the safety and feel of the court, Kyrie may have a point. The installment of a new floor isn’t as seamless a process as it looks. The Bucks reportedly leased a random court and painted it in MECCA’s style, then stored it in a local high school gym. It’s not far-fetched to believe that the process could have affected the floor in a way that makes it feel different to a player who has stepped on countless basketball floors. That’s not the problem here.
“I’m all about safety,” Kyrie said.
Us too. But we also like the truth. And the obvious truth here is that court isn’t the same one from almost 30 years ago. Sorry.
The moment is just more kindling for the “What is Kyrie’s deal?” fire that has been perplexing us since the spring. In the Bucks’ press release, they claimed that this was “the court that made Milwaukee famous.” On Thursday, it quickly became the floor that fooled Irving.