On Saturday Brooklyn’s superstar trio of Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Kevin Durant finally got their first win together after losing their previous two games. The Nets were able to hold off last year’s Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat, 128-124, in a fourth-quarter nail-biter in which the Heat just would not go away every time the Nets got up double digits.
Miami was without its star player, Jimmy Butler, who is currently in self-quarantine due to the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols. But one of their rising stars, Bam Adebayo stepped up as he finished with a career-high 41 points on the night. The fourth quarter was a duel between Adebayo and Irving, as Adebayo had 12 points in the final period while Irving netted 18 points on 6-for-7 shooting.
The two gladiators wanted to show each other respect after a hard-fought battle but NBA security quickly put an end to that.
Security Stops Kyrie and Bam Jersey Swap
Over the past two seasons, it has been customary for NBA players to swap jerseys with members of the other team as a sign of respect. It is a customary tradition that was adopted from the NFL. At the conclusion of Saturday’s contest, Adebayo and Irving tried swapping jerseys. Security quickly intervened when they saw what the two stars were trying to do, as jersey swaps are against the league’s updated COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Players are also not allowed to hug or shake hands to minimize contact.
Security stopping Kyrie Irving and Bam Adebayo’s jersey swap 😂 pic.twitter.com/YsoWaSVPdZ
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) January 24, 2021
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“I just want to follow NBA protocols,” Irving said to reporters after the game.
If there is anyone who would want to follow the league’s health and safety protocols it would be Irving. The Nets starting point guard was fined $50,000 by the NBA for violating the league’s health and safety protocols. The fine was issued after a video surfaced where Irving was seen celebrating his older sister Asia’s 30th birthday party in a club, with no mask on.
This violates league policies. Players are not supposed to be present at lounges, bars, or gatherings with 15 people or more.
Bam and Kyrie’s Relationship Goes Beyond Basketball
Adebayo, just like Irving, has ties to Northern New Jersey. Kyrie’s father Drederick Irving apparently helped pay for Adebayo’s AAU team as a teenager the Heat center told Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News.
“It’s all love, but in between the lines, we enemies,” Adebayo said.
Still, the new rule as it pertains to post-game handshakes was a head-scratcher around the league. Players are falling on top of each other, sweating and breathing on each other for 48 minutes per game, so how much more harm can a 10-second handshake do?
Regardless of the interjection Adebayo and Irving do intend to still do the jersey swap if they have not already. “I’ll give Kyrie the jersey on my own time,” Adebayo said.