The Brooklyn Nets faced the Portland Trail Blazers on the road on Monday night. As a condition of his part-time player status, Kyrie Irving was eligible to play in the game. A convenient addition for the Nets, as their star guard James Harden, was out with a left knee hypertension. Irving had himself a night, putting up 22 points along with 8 rebounds and 4 assists. His show was not a solo act, as superstar teammate Kevin Durant casually dropped a 28-point double-double, with 10 rebounds. Unfortunately, it was not enough for the Nets as they lost by a score of 108-114.
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Kyrie Irving Scolds Nassir Little for ‘Unnecessary’ Play
During the final minutes of the 4th quarter, Nets fans witnessed a scary moment. Kyrie and Blazers’ guard Nassir Little were both chasing a loose ball at which point Little dove to the ground. In the process, Little undercut Irving, causing the Nets’ star to suffer an awkward landing.
The Nets star wasn’t too happy with Little’s decision to dive for the ball in that situation.
“I tried to get out of the way, you know, but I just felt like that just, it was unnecessary, like for him to dive that far away to the ball. I was just trying to get out the way but just an unnecessary play,” Irving said after the loss per SNY.
“I get Nassir [Little] wants to go for the ball, but just like, bro, it’s just a bad play. Like that’s just not a good play for basketball; I could’ve broken my ankle or done something worse. There’s just no place in our game for it.”
Nassir Little Responds to Kyrie’s Criticism
Little took to Twitter to respond to Irving’s comments.
“I would never hurt someone on purpose, I have the utmost respect for Kyrie,” Little tweeted. “But y’all are delusional if you think this is a bad play, and I’d do it again. Idgaf what y’all talking about.”
Little’s father Harold also weighed in on the incident via his Twitter account.
“I’m a father. I love my children. I will protect and defend them. If they’re wrong, I talk to them, but I ain’t gonna let anyone hurt them in any kind of way. Basketball Twitter fanboys [with] 40 followers [are] really pissing me off right now,” he tweeted on Tuesday.
Steve Nash, Kevin Durant Sound Off on Nets Struggles
The Nets’ game on Monday was the first of a two-game road trip. Brooklyn will face off against the Chicago Bulls in their next game. They will have one day off in between those games. Head coach Steve Nash spoke after the game about some of his young players’ inexperience with long road trips, and how that may have affected their play against the Blazers.
“I don’t think we had the juice to follow through and finish the job enough,” Nash said per Clutch Points. “I don’t know if anyone’s ever had a six-hour flight between games, so I get it. I understand we’re trying to dig deep late. I know our guys were tired after yesterday’s overtime game.”
However, Durant is not as empathetic about the scheduling situation for his team.
“Who cares? That’s a part of the game, that’s a part of who we are. We been in the league and we got young dudes. Who cares? They’re supposed to get up and play. They throw s*** at you, you gotta figure out how to work around it,” Durant said after the loss per SNY.
“We still had an opportunity to win this game, you know? So, who cares? That’s what championship teams go through, a little adversity. Everybody’s schedule is f***** up”
The Nets have listed Kyrie as questionable for their matchup with the top-seeded Bulls on Wednesday. James Harden is expected to play.
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