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For Kyrie Irving, the amount of coverage and criticisms that Ja Morant received following his infamous firearm incident are too much to take on – with the media dropping every tidbit of information that creates an overwhelming reaction.

Following the Dallas Mavericks’ late collapse against the Memphis Grizzlies, 112-108, Irving – who had a fair share of controversial actions in his career which includes the promotion of an antisemitic film – took the postgame podium and aired his perspective about Morant’s complicating case, as he believes both him and the All-Star guard took an “overload of judgement” from the public eye.

“I believe any hardship in life builds character,” said Irving, per The Athletic’s Joe Vardon. 

“When you’re dealing with particular hardships in the public eye, especially with the media being attracted to just keeping up with what we’re doing, or what’s the next kind of grab or story. I don’t want to assume anything by every media member, but that’s just the way it seems for me and my perspective, which is there was an overload of judgment on Ja. There was an overload of judgment on what I had going on, and there’s usually an overload of judgment from the public court of opinion.”

As both teams met in the middle of the FedEx Forum at the conclusion of the Monday match, Irving embraced the embattled Morant and delivered some whispers of encouragement to his ears. Despite his appearance to the team for the first time being out since Mar. 4, Morant was placed out by Memphis against Dallas despite the ending of his eight-game suspension handed by the NBA.

The Grizzlies expect Morant to be available up next on Wednesday as they face the Houston Rockets. As such, the star point man will do another workout on Tuesday to continue his ramp-up activities in preparation for his return to the hardwood.

Irving added that as he expresses his concern on how Morant will handle the uproar, he is hopeful that he’ll be able to get over his own hump of emotions.

“We’re such a public league, we’re gonna deal with situations that may be very difficult to handle for the person going through it,” Irving said, dropping 28 points on the losing effort for the Mavericks. “But I think that’s why we stretch our hands out to each one another so we can be there for each other.

“I care about that aspect. That’s where I’m putting my energy. I wished his family well wishes, I wished him well wishes, and I just pray for his peace of mind. … I was happy to see him out there today. And I just want him to make it through. He has a long career ahead of him. I don’t think anybody should be controlling but him.”