Kyrie Irving is in a league of his own.
The Brooklyn Nets guard has not only been calling for players not to report to Orlando next month when the NBA is scheduled to resume, but he is also suggesting creating a new league altogether.
According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, Irving urged his Nets teammates in a group chat to refuse reporting to the “bubble” in Orlando and also proposed starting their own league.
Irving, 28, is against resuming the season – which will be a 22-team playoff format in Disney World – because he feels that now is not the time for basketball amid protests and cries for change on race and social injustice.
The six-time All-Star believes that players can make a more meaningful impact on these issues by not playing basketball.
Irving, who signed a four-year, $136.49 million deal with the Nets last summer, will not be playing anyway as he recovers from shoulder surgery but appears to be getting some support.
Earlier on Tuesday, Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrew of ESPN reported that Irving and Los Angeles Lakers’ Avery Bradley have formed a coalition of players to voice concerns about restarting the league.
Dwight Howard has also publicly backed Irving, while Damian Lillard recently said on ESPN that Irving raised some good points.
Not everyone agrees with him, though, and that includes LeBron James – whose voice carries a lot of weight around the league and has advocated that players can do both. James himself recently began a program to help those in predominantly black communities register to vote.
The NBA, meanwhile, acknowledges these issues and released a statement on Tuesday that they plan to use the league’s platform to “bring attention and sustained action to issues of social injustice, including combatting systemic racism, expanding educational and economic opportunities across the Black community, enacting meaningful police reform and promoting greater civic engagement.”