Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving was out of the lineup for Saturday's battle with the Chicago Bulls, but he still found a way to make an impact. Prior to the game, he was spotted by TMZ handing out $100 bills to some young fans. He was also signing autographs near the bus.
After handing out the bills, Irving grabbed another stack of cash and asked who was in charge. An adult that wasn't shown on camera answered, so the Nets star handed the individual what was described as a "stack" of bills. He told the adult to take care of the kids with the money.
Without Irving in the lineup, the Nets won what was described as an "ugly game" against the Bulls. They left the Windy City with the 117-111 victory despite having one of their best players sidelined.
Irving was unable to suit up for the game after handing out the money. He has been dealing with a shoulder injury and has struggled to get back to full health. He was listed as questionable after Thursday's battle with the Denver Nuggets.
"He has played through some pain, obviously," Coach Kenny Atkinson said, per the Boston Globe. "We just felt it was best that he doesn't play today to take care of it and get healthy for when we get home."
Since joining the Nets prior to the season, Irving has been active for nine of the 10 games on the schedule and has been averaging more than 30 minutes per game. He has struggled from the three-point line while only making 34.1 percent of his attempts, but he has still averaged 28.5 points per game.
Despite the lack of success from the boundary, the Nets have still gone all-in on Irving's tenure with the team. To prove this, they put up a billboard with Irving's face, as well as a quote about his return to New York. Although the New York Knicks are less-than-pleased that this billboard is across the street from Madison Square Garden, where they play home games.
Irving's quote on the billboard is actually from a video that he recorded to reveal that he would be heading to New York. The former Boston Celtics' star had made it clear prior to free agency that he would be leaving for another home, and this Instagram post provided the destination.
"In my heart, I knew I always wanted to play at home," Irving said in July. "And home is where my heart is. And it's always been there. It's simply because of such a great love that I have for my family and the way I grew up. I wouldn't change anything about the experience, at all. It's brought me back here, and that's home. And home is where my family is. Home is where I want my legacy to continue. I'm happy to be in Brooklyn."
His heart may be in New York, but Irving is proving that he still has a fondness for cities across America. He also wants to guarantee that the kids are taken care of, as evidenced by him handing out cash on Saturday.
(Photo Credit: Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty)