Kyrie Irving

The 2021-22 NBA season began last Tuesday, but most of the headlines around the league have very little to do with basketball. Whether it's protests at Barclays Center about Kyrie Irving's vaccine status, the ongoing saga with Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers or infighting within the Los Angeles Lakers, the off-court drama has overshadowed the fact that some great NBA games and tremendous individual performances have been taking place.

No more.

There will continue to be discussion about all of those storylines as the season goes along, but how about we talk some basketball? I'm taking this opportunity to highlight nine cool and interesting things that I noticed during an incredible first week of NBA action.

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1. Giannis' speedy free throw routine

Remember during the playoffs when opposing crowds continually proved they could count to 10 (usually not very well) while Giannis Antetokounmpo was at the free throw line? Antetokounmpo's routine progressed at a tempo that would induce impatience from molasses, and he was even called for two 10-second violations during the postseason -- one of which came during a crucial juncture of a first-round game against the Miami Heat.

Well, it appears that's not going to be an issue this year. Giannis has significantly shortened his free throw routine, taking just one dribble before letting it fly, much to the dismay of spectators used to taking that time to grab a beverage refill.

Nine first-week NBA storylines not involving Kyrie Irving or Ben Simmons: Rookies dazzle; Giannis new routine

Source:CBSSports.com

Nine first-week NBA storylines not involving Kyrie Irving or Ben Simmons: Rookies dazzle; Giannis new routine

Protest for Kyrie Irving turns ugly as supporters storm Nets Barclays Center entrance on over vaccine mandate

Source:CBSSports.com

Protest for Kyrie Irving turns ugly as supporters storm Nets Barclays Center entrance on over vaccine mandate

Kevin Durant: Nets arent hoping Kyrie Irving will save us after Hornets loss

Source:Fox News

Kevin Durant: Nets arent hoping Kyrie Irving will save us after Hornets loss

Amid 1-2 start, Kevin Durant says of course Brooklyn Nets have enough to win without Kyrie Irving

Source:ESPN

Amid 1-2 start, Kevin Durant says of course Brooklyn Nets have enough to win without Kyrie Irving

Protesters storm arena entrance before Brooklyn Nets home opener over teams refusal to let unvaccinated star Kyrie Irving play

Source:CBS News on MSN.com

Protesters storm arena entrance before Brooklyn Nets home opener over teams refusal to let unvaccinated star Kyrie Irving play

Kyrie Irving mess has dominated, but Nets most certainly have not

Source:Newsday

Kyrie Irving mess has dominated, but Nets most certainly have not

Unruly protest over Nets not letting unvaccinated Kyrie Irving play

Source:Yahoo

Unruly protest over Nets not letting unvaccinated Kyrie Irving play

‘Let Kyrie play’: Irving fans protest NY vaccine mandate at Brooklyn Nets game

Source:syracuse.com

‘Let Kyrie play’: Irving fans protest NY vaccine mandate at Brooklyn Nets game

Anti-vaccine protesters support Brooklyn Nets Kyrie Irving outside Brooklyn game

Source:CNN on MSN.com

Anti-vaccine protesters support Brooklyn Nets Kyrie Irving outside Brooklyn game