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Kyrie doesn't mask feelings: Clear better for all

From ESPN - November 14, 2017

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving expressed frustration with the clear protective mask that he wore while returning to game action Tuesday night but said it was still a better option than the black one he once used during a memorable performance here in New York.

Irving overcame his frustrations Tuesday to score a team-high 25 points on 8-of-20 shooting as the Celtics won their 13th straight game 109-102 over the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.

Irving famously scored a then-career-high 41 points against the New York Knicks while wearing a black mask in December 2012. Irving soon changed to a clear fitted version in the aftermath.

Irving was aware that social media was clamoring for a return of the black mask but playfully detailed why it was better to stick with a clear one to protect the facial fracture he suffered when a teammate elbowed him last week.

"I was telling some of my teammates, some of the fans, too, they were asking me whether I was going to wear the black mask. The difference with the black mask is that (teammates are) not getting the ball because I could not see outside of my eyesight," Irving said to laughter.

"(Teammates were) like, 'Oh, the Masked Man! The Black Mask! I scored that many (points for Cleveland) because I was just looking at the basket. So a lot of my peripheral vision and driving, I could only see what's in front of me. That black mask, like, it just takes away your vision. So I am just like, 'Oh, basket.' Like, this is just the best-case scenario. So that's the whole black mask thing.

"I am glad I get to wear a clear one. I am telling (teammates), like, 'Come on, show some gratitude. I am showing gratitude, too, for not wearing that black mask.' So, yeah, hopefully a few more weeks in the (clear) mask and I will be out of it."

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