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Mavs' Kyrie Irving Says Sports Betting Has 'Taken Purity & Fun Away' From NBA

Dallas Mavericks superstar Kyrie Irving isn't a fan of the impact that sports betting has had on the NBA, expressing it has impacted the "purity" of the game.

MEMPHIS — In the modern sports landscape, there has been an ever-growing presence of betting and gamification with each major league. The NBA is certainly no exception. It's common to see complaints directed at a player for "ruining" an eight-leg parlay, or not getting their team to hit the over. 

While there are financial benefits for professional sports leagues to have an influx of revenue due to partnerships with sports betting companies, there can be emotional downsides that come with it for the players on the game floor. 

During a recent Twitch livestream, Dallas Mavericks superstar Kyrie Irving touched on the impact of sports betting on the game of basketball. He expressed how it sometimes has "completely taken the purity" out of the game. 

“Gambling and sports betting has completely taken the purity and the fun away from the game at times. I'm gonna just be honest with y'all," Irving said. 

Irving feels there is a key distinction from a fan rooting for a team compared to somebody that's angry over how their money is performing within a bet. There are times when he's received direct messages on social media with people being disrespectful, taking it too far. 

“There’s a difference between being a diehard fan and supporting your team and loving your team versus somebody that’s betting on a parlay. ... Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want anybody wasting their money on me. But goddang this whole community of gamblers has come into the game of basketball.

“I’m just gonna call it out. Everybody be talking about their f---ing ticket. I’m not gonna say I don’t care about your ticket, but if you want to gamble, why don’t you gamble on something that makes sense, to you? And if you gamble on me, I’m not going to tell you whether it’s a good gamble or bagging, I’m just saying you’re gambling. You’re gonna win or lose.

“But that doesn’t mean sliding into people’s DMs or wishing bad on them or doing the extra s--- that goes on. It blows my mind sometimes. ... Because me as a hooper, I’m just trying to get a bucket. I’m trying to win ballgames most importantly, and I’m gonna be successful some nights and I’m gonna fail but overall the reason why I said peace of mind is everything. Just look at these distractions that ultimately take away from the game.

“I’m just saying it’s tainting the game.”

Within the state of Texas, sports betting remains prohibited, but that could change in the relative near future with legislative changes. Regardless, whether on social media or across the various NBA markets where sports betting is legal,  dealing with the comments has become an unfortunate part of the experience. 

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