The ghosts of the Brooklyn Nets past have come back to haunt them in their Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks. The team’s misfortunes began just 43 seconds into the 1st quarter of Game 1 of the series. Nets All-Star James Harden reaggravated his right hamstring that has been bothering him all season during the Nets opening possession. Harden has yet to play again in this series and does not have a timetable for when he can return.
In Game 4 against the Bucks, the Nets took another huge blow to their championship hopes. With 5:52 remaining in the first half, Nets’ All-Star Kyrie Irving went up for a layup and came down on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s left foot. Irving rolled his ankle badly and was clearly hurt as he was on the ground crying out in pain. Kyrie was able to walk to the locker room with his own strength. His x-rays came back clean but he did not return to the game.
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LeBron Reacts to Kyrie Irving’s Injury
Irving has played with some world-class talent during his 10-year NBA career. James Harden, Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum, and the list goes on. Of all his teammates, Irving’s name is most synonymous with that of Los Angeles Lakers’ All-Star LeBron James. James and Irving spent three years together in Cleveland and enjoyed much success as a duo, making three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors dynasty. After seeing his former teammate go down during such as pivotal time in the series, James reacted to Kyrie’s injury on Twitter.
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Kyrie Speaks on the Lessons He’s Learned From LeBron
Kyrie and LeBron have an uhh… interesting relationship. After being dominated by the Golden State Warriors in the 2017 NBA Finals, Irving decided that he wanted out of Cleveland that summer. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported in 2017 that Irving wanted out because he no longer wanted to play alongside LeBron. That summer the Cavaliers completed a blockbuster trade to move Irving to the Boston Celtics.
During his time with the Celtics, Irving quickly learned that being the team’s leader is not all peaches and cream. Kyrie said he later called LeBron to apologize for how he handled the future Hall of Famer’s criticisms of him when they were teammates.
“I had to call [LeBron] and tell him I apologized for being that young player that wanted everything at his fingertips, and I wanted everything at my threshold. I wanted to be the guy that led us to a championship. I wanted to be the leader. I wanted to be all that, and the responsibility of being the best in the world and leading your team is something that is not meant for many people,” Irving told reporters in 2019 per ESPN.
“[LeBron] was one of those guys who came to Cleveland and tried to show us how to win a championship, and it was hard for him, and sometimes getting the most out of the group is not the easiest thing in the world.”
With the series between the Nets and Bucks knotted at two games apiece, the stage has been set for a pivotal Game 5 at Barclays Center. The winner of that game could likely end up being the winner of the series.