Nets point guard Kyrie Irving will once again be out when the Brooklyn Nets face the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. It will be his fourth consecutive game sitting out due to “personal reasons.” The Nets have struggled in Irving’s absence going 1-2 and now sitting at 10th place in the Eastern Conference standings. The Nets currently have no timetable on when Kyrie will return and according to Nets’ Head Coach Steve Nash, the team has not even heard back from him.
Nets Haven’t Heard From Kyrie
“I don’t know. I sent him a message. I just found out. So, I just sent him a message in the last half hour and have not heard back yet,” Nash said to reporters on a recent zoom call. “Thinking about him and hope all is well and, yeah, it’s a private matter.” Irving was having a great season before his hiatus averaging 27.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game.
While Irving’s absence has indeed hurt the team’s performance, his teammates have stood firm that they support his decision to take some personal time in full.
Kyrie’s Teammates Support Him
“I wouldn’t speak for Kyrie, I’ll let him do that for himself,” Nets’ forward Kevin Durant told reporters after Sunday’s loss to the Thunder. “I’m sure you guys will see him soon after he comes back,” Durant said. ‘We support him 100% and pray for the best.”
“That’s a personal issue for him,” Nets’ Sixth Man Caris LeVert told reporters over Zoom after Thursday’s win over the Philadelphia 76ers. “We support him, you know, he’s our brother. it was a personal issue for him.”
Kyrie Was Seen Out Partying Recently
While the Nets may not have heard from Irving he has not been completely off the grid. Kyrie was originally reported to be partying with rapper Drake but was actually at a recent birthday party for his older sister Asia Irving. To make matters, worse no one in the video is wearing a mask or social distancing.
A similar situation happened earlier this season with Houston Rockets guard James Harden, who was photographed at rap superstar Lil’ Baby’s birthday party in Atlanta. Harden was fined $50,000 and required to self-quarantine for a week, so there is a possibility that Kyrie could miss even more games.
Nets Can’t Expect Sympathy
While the date of Irving’s return remains a mystery, the Nets will have to rely on their available players to turn this ship around. Currently sitting outside of the playoff picture, they cannot afford to fall even further down in the standings.
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Even though Brooklyn’s season has been tumultuous, Steve Nash understands that nobody is going to have mercy on the Nets. It is the cost that comes with putting together a super team. “No one’s going to cry for us,” Nash told reporters on a recent Zoom call. “We’ve got to continue to build, grow, work at it, and figure things out, and that is the challenge in this condensed schedule. In defense of the players, they have got to be exhausted. In defense of the coaches, we need to practice. That is the dilemma we face. We’ve got to find that balance, and it’s the same for everybody.”