Kyrie Irving and Bam Adebayo Had a Very Sneaky Jersey Exchange

In Tuesday’s Hot Clicks: what a jersey swap looks like in 2021, a righteous dunk by an NBA rookie and more.
Author:
Publish date:

Playing in the NBA these days seems a bit like visiting George Bluth in prison: “No touching!”

In response to increasing numbers of positive COVID-19 tests, the NBA announced last week that it was going to get serious about enforcing its rules against on-court fraternization. Hugs, handshakes and high fives aren’t allowed, in an effort to limit unnecessary contact between players on opposing teams. (Fist and elbow bumps are just fine, though, as if the only way to transmit the virus is by touching palms.) To ensure players were following the rules, the league instructed security staff to intervene when players got too friendly.

That leads us to Saturday night’s Nets-Heat game in Brooklyn. After the final buzzer, longtime friends Kyrie Irving and Bam Adebayo attempted to swap jerseys but were thwarted by an eagle-eyed security guard.

Adebayo hinted after the game that he was able to get his slick pink-and-blue jersey to Irving anyway, which left Kyrie responsible for holding up his end of the bargain when the two teams met again on Monday night.

Kyrie was ready as soon as the buzzer sounded. He took off his jersey and motioned to get Adebayo’s attention. The same security guard who broke up Saturday’s interaction was close by, gently reminding Adebayo and Kevin Durant to keep it moving, but Kyrie made a quick handoff and headed for the locker room before anyone could intervene. As Adebayo went off toward the visitors’ dressing room, he stuffed the gift under his jersey, as if to prevent a security guard from confiscating it.

Adebayo's being so cagey about the jersey swap is a little weird, considering I can’t find any NBA rule prohibiting the trading of jerseys this year. The NFL outright banned on-field jersey swaps this season as a coronavirus precaution. (Because it’s the NFL, the off-field jersey swap was quickly transformed into a sponsorship opportunity.) The NBA doesn’t appear to have any such policy, and, if it did, there’s no way Adebayo would have gotten away with taking Kyrie’s jersey. He walked most of the length of the floor before he decided to put it under his shirt, and his idea of hiding it was to create a giant misshapen lump on his torso. He wasn’t exactly subtle. 

Who wants free stuff?

X5-WHITE

It’s time for another fun giveaway. Today we’ve got the Edifier X5 true wireless earbuds. They’re water- and dust-proof, have noise-canceling capabilities and pair automatically with your device once they’ve been removed from the charging case, among other features. 

Here’s how to win (it’s a little different from how I usually do these): 

  • Go to this link and fill out the survey. (It’s extremely short—seven multiple-choice questions. It should take you less than 30 seconds to complete.)
  • To prove you filled out the survey, send me an email (dan.gartland@si.com) with the subject line earbud giveaway and your answer to the final survey question in the body.
  • The 25th and 50th persons to email me following those directions will win.

The best of SI

The NBA’s decision to play in home markets has been a failure. Should it reconsider the bubble? ... A bunch of young Americans scored in European soccer action over the weekend. ... Officials in Arizona want to delay spring training, setting up another showdown between MLB players and owners over when the season should start. ... What should we make of the Astros heading into 2021?

Around the sports world

The NBA and the players union are talking about still holding an All-Star Game, for some reason. ... For just the second time since 1987, the Yankees made a trade with the Red Sox. ... University of Michigan athletes are petitioning to overturn the state health department’s two-week pause on sports at the school. ... The Packers’ intentional penalty on Sunday could have led to the application of a rare rule.

Listen to the guy yell, “Cook his ass!” when Edwards starts to drive

Receivers usually need their legs

Jimmer Fredette went off for 70 in China

LeBron managed only a measly 46

Tom Brady’s social media team deserves a raise

No one has ever accused politicians of being consistent

Not sports

GameStop stock shot up to record highs thanks to a bunch of amateur investors on Reddit. ... The house where Lizzie Borden’s parents were hacked to death with an ax sold for $2 million. ... AMC Theatres staved off bankruptcy by raising over $900 million in funding.

Too cool

Don’t miss this chance to invest in the worst company on the internet

A good song

Email dan.gartland@si.com with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.