Kyrie Irving caused astonishment on his first return to Boston when he burned sage before the game and walked around the arena with it. It’s a Native American ritual that Irving would like to establish this season.
“Lots of Aboriginal people do that,” said Irving after scoring 17 points in his first game in Boston after leaving in 2019. “I just purify the air and make sure we all find our balance,” continued Uncle Drew.
The point guard had lit a bundle of sage before the game and then wandered around the entire hall with the smoking bush before smothering the embers in a traditional conch shell.
According to tradition, it is a spiritual ritual to rid the air of negative energy and promote health and wisdom. This custom is common with some Native American tribes. Irving himself was inducted into the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in 2018 as his mother is also part of the tribe.
Irving stated that he had adopted the custom from that tribe and that he plans to do so in the future before games if the opposing team allows. “It helps us to stand together and feel good when we get to work,” said the Nets Guard.
Not only Irving, but also Kevin Durant was asked about the unusual ritual. The two-time Finals MVP has no problem with that. “It’s his thing. He’s probably doing that in his room before he plays 2K. I think it gives us strength. We respect him and his methods.”