Irving, who defended his stance during a recent Instagram Live, drew praise from former Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith.
— JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) October 14, 2021
Smith, 36, played on the Cavaliers for parts of five seasons. He was released by the team in 2019.
Of course, the highlight of his tenure with the Cavs was when he won a title in 2016. The Cavs came back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the star-studded Golden State Warriors during the 2016 NBA Finals.
Irving hit a huge shot at the end of Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals against the Warriors to help put the Cavs over the hump. The iconic shot elevated Irving’s status in the league.
However, the 29-year-old is now being castigated by many sports figures for his controversial take on the COVID-19 vaccine. He holds career averages of 22.8 points, 5.7 assists and 3.8 boards per game.