After starting the post-James Harden era with a record of 2-0, the Brooklyn Nets have dropped two straight games to the Washington Wizard and Boston Celtics. Brooklyn currently sits in the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference Playoff standings. With roughly 20 games to go in the regular season, the Nets are running out of time to avoid playing in the play-in tournament. And to add insult to injury, Kyrie Irving is still not a full-time participant. Irving is not eligible to play home games as he remains unvaccinated for the coronavirus. The Nets not having a home-court advantage is more of a benefit than a disadvantage for them at this point. But Kevin Durant’s former teammate and current ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins still says that it is time for the All-NBA guard to be all-in.
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Kendrick Perkins Takes Fiery Shot at Nets Kyrie Irving
“How long are you gonna deal with Kyrie Irving and all the extra baggage that he has with him? That’s what it’s gonna come down to. If you’re gonna point the finger at anybody, you’re gonna point the finger at Kyrie Irving. That’s the reason James Harden left and if the Nets don’t succeed, if the Nets happen not to make the playoffs or get a first-round exit, that’s the person I’m pointing the finger at, Kyrie Irving,” Perkins said during the February 25 airing of ESPN’s Get Up!
Irving missed the first 35 games of the season due to his failure to comply with New York City’s vaccine mandate. Since returning, he has only played 14 games averaging 24.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game.
“It’s gonna come down to you know who, Kyrie Irving, because the reason that they lost James Harden is because of Kyrie Irving,” Perkins continued. “And so now you’re gonna have a decision to make and it’s not just gonna come from Sean Marks and Steve Nash. But it’s gonna come from Kevin Durant.”
Eric Adams Give Key Update on New York Vaccine Mandate
The New York City vaccine mandate has been a major factor in the turmoil that the Nets have faced this season. And as many other places begin to loosen the reigns on their vaccine and mask mandates, New York could be the next major city in line. But New York Mayor Eric Adam says that decision will be made based on the health and safety of New Yorkers and not Nets’ fan’s frustrations with Irving’s inability to play.
“It is something that people are asking about. Listen, you bring a championship game here, you bring in millions of dollars in revenue, but we cannot base our decisions on sports,” New York City’s Mayor said of Irving per NetsDaily.
“The real game we’re fighting is a game of safety and health, and we’re going to make the right decision for New Yorkers. I want that championship ring, but not at the expense of making sure we shut down our city again – and if it falls in line (it) falls in line, if it’s not we got to make the right decision for New Yorkers. Eventually, we’re going to move to the place to ease up on many of these mandates so we can get back to a level of normality that we are looking for.”
With the clock ticking on the regular season, the Nets are in survival mode as they wait on the returns of several of their key players. With their playoff lives hanging on by a thread, the name of the game for Brooklyn is survive and advance.