The incident happened in the 2020-21 season during Schroder’s first stint with the Lakers. Both players ended up being ejected from the game, and Schroder explained the situation to Fox Sports.
Kyrie Irving and Dennis Schroder were both ejected after getting into it during the third quarter. pic.twitter.com/i2UEyKba3m
— ESPN (@espn) April 11, 2021
“Schroder felt Irving was being unduly physical guarding him and Irving appeared upset when Schroder complained to the referees,” Ric Bucher wrote. “At one point, they stood nose to nose and Schroder said, ‘C’mon, n—-!’
“Irving shouted back, ‘You can’t say that! You’re from Germany!’”
Irving’s comments apparently “incensed” Schroder, leading the two to keep jawing before they were both ejected from the game.
Schroder explained why the incident was so surprising to him, since Irving didn’t normally talk a lot of trash during his early years in the league.
In fact, Schroder ended up asking his then-teammate and one of Irving’s former teammates – James – if he knew why the then-Nets guard acted in such a way.
“My first six, seven years I respected him so much because it didn’t matter if he’d bust your ass with a 40-point game or had a quiet game, he was always the same guy,” Schroder said. “Didn’t talk s—. Then we had that incident in Brooklyn, which surprised me because it was out of nothing. I was shocked. I’m not going to lie. I asked LeBron, ‘Why did he act like that?’ LeBron said, ‘I don’t know, just let it go.’”
While the scenario was a strange one, the two made amends in the 2022-23 season when Irving and the Dallas Mavericks faced the Lakers and Schroder.
“I want to apologize,” Irving apparently told Schroder. “We’ve been going at it for so many years, you know that’s not me.”
Irving’s actions touched Schroder, and it seems like the two players are now on good terms.
“He said he was going through something at the time and that’s why he reacted like that,” Schroder said. “To say that, and you’re such a powerful player? That means everything. We swapped jerseys after that game. I’m right back on the same side I was the first six, seven, years. I respect him as a player and as a human.”
It’s great to see that Irving and Schroder were able to patch things up after the heated incident in the 2020-21 season.
Both players are free agents this offseason, and there’s always a chance that they could end up on the same team in the 2023-24 campaign.
Schroder played a big role for the Lakers in the 2022-23 season, starting 50 of the 66 games he appeared in. The veteran guard averaged 12.6 points, 2.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game for Los Angeles.
It may be hard for the Lakers to bring Schroder back with so many other players (Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura to name a few) set to hit free agency, but there’s no doubt that the guard has fit well alongside James and Anthony Davis.