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Why does Kyrie Irving use a walking stick?

From the hypothesis of fashion items to much deeper cultural meanings

Why does Kyrie Irving use a walking stick? From the hypothesis of fashion items to much deeper cultural meanings

Kyrie Irving is one of the best players and one of the most controversial personalities in the NBA at the same time. Also aesthetically, the Brooklyn Nets point guard follows a fashion all his own, bringing the denim trend back into the spotlight of the New York scene and staying away from the hype brands that his colleagues wear. His latest outfits often include a walking stick, an unusual object that generates curiosity around his story. In the first appearances, NBA fashion analysts labeled that unusual item as the 2016 NBA champion's attempt to introduce a new trend. But the meaning behind the stick is much deeper and must be sought in Kyrie Irving's new spiritual life.

The childhood of the former Cavs point guard was turbulent: his parents divorced almost immediately after Kyrie was born and after 4 years mom Elizabeth died leaving Irving alone with dad Drederick. The #11 of the Nets has never known his mom well, but he was able to learn more thanks to his aunt Kelly Brinkley. Irving grew up in the Bronx with only the paternal side of the family beside him, but discovering his maternal side in 2018 allowed him to open his mind beyond his imagination. Elizabeth Irving's origins are closely linked to Native Americans and in particular to the Lakota, an important group of the Sioux family.

Kyrie dug deep into his roots, and meeting 3 years ago at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota - a place deemed sacred to Native Americans - changed his life. Kyrie is 1/4 Lakota Sioux and today she takes his inheritance as a mother very seriously:

"There was a moment in my life when I almost reached a crossroads, I lost the sense of family. Knowing that my mother died, but she left me a family as big and powerful as Standing Rock ... being part of it now has changed me, this is family for life"

The stick, therefore, traces back to his origins and his new life as "Hela" - its new name from Lakota. The "cane" with which he presents himself to the Nets competitions - with an appearance also at the last All-Star Game - is a prayer stick, also called the spirit stick or medicine stick, and according to Brandon "Scoop B" Robinson it is typical of the religious rites and ceremonies of the Southwestern Native American tribes of the Hopi, Pueblo and Zuni.

From his roots, Kyrie also took other strange rituals by NBA standards. Before the game at the TD Garden in Boston last December, Irving arrived long before his teammates and completed the "burning sage" operation by sprinkling the perimeter of the field with incense: "It is a ritual of many tribes native and serves to instill wisdom, purify energy and ensure total balance".