Kyrie Irving wanted nothing to do with his mask against the Nets

"It's almost like having somewhat foggy blinders on."

Kyrie Irving mask Boston Celtics
Kyrie Irving stands on the court during the second half of the Celtics-Nets game on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

While fans may have been looking forward to the resurgence of masked Kyrie Irving on Tuesday night against the Brookyln Nets, the Celtics point guard felt a little differently about the return of his protective plastic.

“I hate wearing it, but somehow it’s caused a craze,” he told reporters before tip-off.

Throughout the game at the Barclays Center, Irving was spotted mask-free at nearly every possible opportunity. He kept it off during pregame warmups, took it off in between plays, and kept it off again during warmups following halftime. Playing with a minor facial fracture, Irving was wearing the mask as a precautionary measure but that didn’t stop him from constantly ripping it off.


“It’s almost like having somewhat foggy blinders on,” he told reporters after the game. “When I take off the mask, I can see everything, but when I have the mask on, I’m really dialed into what’s in front of me. My peripheral’s a little cut off. “

Irving had previously worn a black mask with the Cavaliers, which he says only exacerbated his obscured vision. On account of wanting to be able to pass more to his teammates, he opted for a clear version this time around.

“The difference with the black mask is that they’re not getting the ball, because I couldn’t see,” he said. “I could only see what’s in front of me. That black mask, it just takes away the vision. So I was like, ‘Oh, basket.'”

As he had during both his previous masked stints, Irving still put up an impressive scoring performance. Playing 29 minutes, he recorded a team-high 25 points.