How to talk to your family at Thanksgiving like Kyrie Irving

Ben Rohrbach
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/4840/" data-ylk="slk:Kyrie Irving">Kyrie Irving</a> absorbs the reality-based world around him. (AP)
Kyrie Irving absorbs the reality-based world around him. (AP)

Thanksgiving can be stressful. It’s supposed to be a time when we stop to appreciate all that is good in our lives, but when you mix just-sat-in-traffic dads with been-cooking-since-dawn moms, don’t-know-what-we’re-yelling-about toddlers, don’t-care teenagers, how’s-work-going and why-aren’t-you-married-yet aunts, make-America-great-again and how-about-that-Harvey-Weinstein uncles, toss it into a bowl of deep-seeded family angst with plenty of booze to go around, it’s a recipe for disaster.

Few have risen above family feuds better than Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving this year, and thankfully we have him to inform us how to live our truths in a reality-based world abundant with love, free from all that stress, and one with everybody. If we’ve learned anything from Irving recently, it’s that if you just say a lot of weird stuff, people will leave you alone, and you can just give thanks.

So, here is how to leave your family members scratching their heads, unable to even begin to figure out how to frustrate you and possibly even no longer interested in talking to you, courtesy of Kyrie.

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We begin with your arrival. Thanks to Irving’s recent comments at a Thanksgiving meal for the Boston Centers for Youth and Families, you can just borrow his lines from the moment you walk in the door:

“I see you. I see everyone. More than just your physical presence, I see your energy. I feel it. I know it.”

“I’m sorry, what was that?” your brother-in-law might ask. So, hit him with some more Kyrie-speak:

“I think that the most important thing that I strive to live by is extremely by truth and by consistently giving others the truth, without any judgment, without constraints, without anything extra except the understanding that I see you. I have family members who come from knowing energy, and it was passed along to me.”

Disarmed now, your bro-in-law walks away. Now, maybe you’re working in the family business, which adds another layer of stress, but never fear, because Kyrie’s here to help address the whole family:

“I swear to you, when you have an abundance of love that you can give to the world, it comes right back. I live by that every single day, every single moment. And that’s why I know I have the people around me, the people that I’ve met, and that’s why I’m with the Boston Celtics. It’s more than basketball. It’s just about the beautiful life that we have.”

Except, don’t say Boston Celtics. That’d be weird. Just try this instead: “That’s why I’m with the [insert company name here]. It’s more than [profession]. It’s just about the beautiful life that we have.” Now, they’re like, “I don’t know what’s gotten into you, but I kind of like it,” and you’re well on your way.

Did your niece bring her new boyfriend along? Drop this quote Kyrie just gave us on Tuesday:

“I’m so appreciative of where I come from and the people I consistently meet. I know when you live in that consistent truth, you end up meeting people, and the people that I consistently meet are there for a reason.”

Guaranteed he won’t speak to you for the rest of the night.

Now, when your sister starts going on about how she’s a vegetarian now and having turkey for Thanksgiving is essentially mass murder, try this from Kyrie, courtesy of Bleacher Report last week:

“It works. I mean, I’m not eating a whole bunch of animals anymore. Once you become awake, you don’t see that stuff anymore.”


“Steak? Nah, I don’t eat that. It doesn’t come from anything natural, so why would I eat it?”

If your uncle asks you about how the new job’s going, borrow a page from Kyrie’s media day playbook:

“It was my time to do what was best for me in terms of my intentions, and that’s going after something bigger than myself and honestly being in an environment that’s conducive to my potential. I think that statement is self-explanatory, because it’s pretty direct in terms of what my intent is: To be happy and to be with a group of individuals that I can grow with.”

And when your aunt asks about that recent breakup, sprinkle some “First Take” Kyrie on the convo:

“There comes a time where you mature as an individual. It’s time to make that decision, and there is no looking back from that standpoint. There is no time to figure out how to save someone’s feelings when ultimately you have to be selfish in figuring out what you want to do. It wasn’t about me not wanting to win. It wasn’t anything about that. It was, ‘I want to be extremely, extremely happy in perfecting my craft,’ and that was the only intent in all of this.

“When you’re living in a reality-based world — and I’m a very awake individual — and you have all these exterior forces trying to change or skew everyone else’s opinion, and I’m not able to say anything and I’m sitting back and being very, very patient, it became something I didn’t understand, because of the amount of moments that we had together as a team.”

Is your dad yelling at the kids who are yelling in front of the TV? “First Take” Kyrie works for that, too:

“Oh, if you’re very much woke, there’s no such thing as distractions, especially all this.”

Is everyone looking at you weird, because you had money on the Minnesota Vikings and got upset because Case Keenum decided to be that Case Keenum again? Media Day Kyrie has a perfect response chambered:

“It was honestly the most human thing I could’ve done, which is ride the rollercoaster wave of emotions.”

Is your nephew trying to sneak in some weed-smoking before dinner? Flat-Earth Kyrie is a perfect fit:

“The fact that in our lifetimes there are so many holes and so many pockets in our history. … History is history, and it’s happened long before us, and it’s going to happen after us, and it always repeats itself somehow, in some way. All these things that they keep giving to us, all this information, I’m just saying that all these things that used to put me in fear, it makes you not want to question it naturally, because of how much information you actually can figure out and how much information there actually is out there. It’s crazy. Anything that you have a particular question on, OK — Is the world flat or round? — I think you need to do research on it. It’s right in front of our faces. I’m telling you it’s right in front of our faces. They lie to us.”

Did your brother confront you because he heard you were talking behind his back? Media Day Kyrie:

“It was pretty awesome the way it all transpired, because throughout this time I didn’t say anything. Not a word. It was just assumptions and who said, this said, and this camp and this source. I don’t want to dive into that, but I didn’t say anything purposely, because that’s not the real life I live in.”

Is your mom wondering why you moved so far away from home? “First Take” Kyrie takes care of that:

“The actual storyline of everything that was created from a variety of sources, a variety of people, whether it be from my circle or whether it be from anywhere else, the last person that everybody forgot about was me. I didn’t say a damn word, and it was all because that was never reality for me, because I know the type of person I am, I know who I’m developing into, and I know who I want to become. It never came from the fact of me wanting to be absolutely selfish and absolutely putting myself first and wanting to be the man. I don’t really have an ego. I have a presence and aura about me that’s very reality-based. It didn’t come in a form of living in this false world and not being able to tell the truth to somebody and look them in the eye and say, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m ready to move on. I’m ready to be on my own. I’m ready to try out a new situation and be in an environment where I feel like I can be happy.’ My intent was the same and always will be the same — to be around people and to interact them.”

Did your grandmother just ask you to say grace? Media Day Kyrie has you covered there, too:

“That is all reality-based, and I live in that world,” he added. “Basketball, me perfecting my craft, is very important to me, but outside of this game I very much live a real life, and I appreciate all the people around me as well as all the human beings I end up meeting. I just wanted to say that my appreciation for the world goes deeper than a lot of people realize, and I pay my respects for all those people as well as anyone affected by anything. We’re all here with you, and my prayers are with you.”

Leave the basketball part in. They won’t even know what hit them. You will enjoy a moment of silence. And when they ask you to pass the gravy, get in some Open Conversation Kyrie to keep things moving:

“Whenever I’m doing something, I know my intent behind it, and it exactly proved what I thought it would. So, whenever I have those conversations and we’re able to sit down, I’m able to convey it in a naturally way.”

Did your cousin really bring up her divorce for the third straight year? Media Day Kyrie:

“When you look back and you’re eternally grateful for the moments you’ve had and you’ve shared, you’re able to put peace with that journey and start anew. This was a very, very challenging decision at first, but after a while, you understand and you have that confidence in yourself to understand the magnitude of what you actually can accomplish and potentially can do with other great people.”

Your uncle is actually talking President Trump vs. LaVar Ball during dinner? Open Conversation Kyrie:

“Look, here it is. Listen to me. Look, so, what it did was, it was all an exploitation tactic. All it did was, it literally spinned [sic] the world — your guys’ world — spinned the world. It spinned the world into a frenzy, and it proved exactly what I thought it would do in terms of how all this works, and it created a division, or, literally, stand up there and let all these people throw tomatoes at you or, like, have somebody think somehow that I’m this different intellectual person because I think that — or, because I believe the world is flat and you think the world is round. It created exactly that. It did exactly that, to where it became, like, because I think different, does that ever knock my intellectual capacity or the fact that I can think different things than you can? It did exactly that.”

Your father-in-law said something he shouldn’t have about Louis C.K., and you want to help him walk the conversation back? Help him out with a heaping helping of Doubled-Down-On-Flat-Earth Kyrie:

“It’s OK to think something that I guess the majority wouldn’t think. I just didn’t like the fact that us being able to celebrate our individuality and things that we ultimately hold onto, and just because we don’t believe what the world thinks or a majority thinks, then why punish that? That’s the only thing I felt like got misconstrued. It’s OK to believe one thing. It’s OK to have your own thoughts and be able to function and be able to formulate your own thoughts and opinions and still be able to convey them to other people.”

Everyone’s talking about “Stranger Things 2,” and you haven’t seen it yet? More Flat Earth Kyrie:

“I have a very firm belief that what they’re putting out in front of us is there for a reason. It just depends on whether you want to believe in the truth or not. The fact that they can make all these movies with alien descriptions, they’re not just going on strictly brainpower and this is just creative things that we’re going to put out to everybody. For what? All to put an alien movie out, for what?”

Is somebody pissed because you just ate the last bit of stuffing? “First Take” Kyrie will stun them:

“I think we’re forgetting one important thing. … I don’t think that you owe anything to another person in terms of figuring out what you want to do with your life. It’s not anything personal.”

Have you been tuning out your mother-in-law for three solid minutes and just realized she’s waiting for you to respond to her question? Offer more wine and keep that Flat Earth Kyrie flowing, too:

“Everything that was put in front of me, I had to be like, ‘Oh, this is all a facade.’ Like, this is all something that they ultimately want me to believe in … but now there is a certain aspect of life in which I want to tell people about, which is this true journey of really becoming a complete individual and total freedom of thought. Do you know what I’m saying?

“Question things, but even if an answer doesn’t come back, you’re perfectly fine with that, because you were never living in that particular truth. There’s a falseness in stories and things that people want you to believe and ultimately what they throw in front of us.”

Is everyone now feeling really awkward because the Republicans were defending Roy Moore, the Democrats were on Al Franken’s side, and you just told them all to shut up, because they’re all wrong and horrible? This is where “There’s Not One Real Picture Of Earth” Kyrie can really save the day:

“And the separation that I can’t stand is that because I think one particular way — I’m not saying it applies to me and you, because you understand I’m a sane human being — but the way it was kind of divided, in terms of the separation, like, let’s completely throw away an idea that maybe we don’t know whether it’s true or not, but because he thinks different and he may think that the world is flat, then there’s a tirade of comments of who I am character-wise.

“It was literally the whole intent for people to open up and do their own research. That was the only intent. It wasn’t, ‘OK, let me figure out and go against science. Let me go against what I’ve been told and what’s right and all this stuff.’ It was literally just with the intent of: Just wake up and do your our research instead of actually assuming something that’s been told to you, because I’ve been told a lot in terms of my history and facts and particular facts, and it’s been completely false, so once I started doing that, that was the only intent behind all of that.”

Now, dessert’s out, and you have no idea what to say or how to describe the awful pumpkin pie that your aunt just brought out. Don’t worry, Post-16-Game-Winning-Streak Kyrie is here to help you out:

“A lot of heart being protected by some incredible energies.”

And did you fall asleep on the couch while your wife did dishes? Cite Control Your Own Dreams Kyrie:

“While I’m sleeping, there’s this moment where I’m like, ‘Ah, man, I feel like I want to get up right now, but I can’t,’ so I felt like I was looking at myself sleep.

“I kept hearing the door, and I kept seeing somebody and I kept feeling something go over me — like over my back. And I’m like, ‘I can’t wake up, I can’t wake up,’ but I’m so conscious of what’s going on. Like, I know what’s going on, but I’m very, very conscious. But the thing about it is, I don’t know if you guys have the same thing, but I can control my dreams.”

Finally, when you’re walking out the door, drop one last “First Take” Kyrie on them for good measure:

“I knew I wasn’t going to come up here to specifically point at individuals and what the issues were, because that’s not important to me — at all. It’ll be an unbelievable experience for something new, and to be in a place like this where everyone will gravitate not only to us as individuals, but us as a group and a team, and they’ve done it in the years before us and will continue to do it for the years after us, and I just wanted to be a part of that.”

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all stay woke.

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Ben Rohrbach is a contributor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!