Kyrie Irving Could Miss Time After Unveiling Major Announcement

Kyrie Irving

Getty Kyrie Irving prepares for a preseason showdown with the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Brooklyn Nets enter the 2022 NBA season looking to avenge themselves after a crushing playoff defeat at the hands of the Boston Celtics last spring. This year is the first year that Brooklyn will start the season whole. The Nets have their full coop of players highlighted by their All-Star trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons as they look to get back on track to being championship contenders. 

The Nets opened the preseason on October 3 against their conference rival Philadelphia 76ers. Albeit in a losing effort, there were some positives to take away from their preseason opener. In the few minutes they logged together, Brooklyn’s “Big 3” looked solid. It was their first game played together since Simmons was traded to the Nets in February, and they are still trying to build chemistry as a unit. 

That will only happen with repetition, and the preseason is the perfect platform to do that. However, that chemistry building may have to be put on hold momentarily, at least for the next game. Nets head coach Steve Nash announced on Tuesday Kyrie and his wife Marlene Wilkerson welcomed a new baby on October 4, per ESPN Insider Nick Friedell. 

Nash says it is also unclear if the Nets star will suit up for the team’s second preseason matchup with the Miami Heat.

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Kyrie: Vaccine Decision Cost $100 Million

Irving may miss the team’s second preseason game, but the expectation is that he will be available for the season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans on October 19. Which is something Nets fans can be excited about in comparison to his status this time last year. 

Because he refused to get the COVID-19 vaccination that was mandated for Nets players to play home games at Barclays Center, Irving only played 29 games last season. The Nets star says it is a decision that cost him north of $100 million.

“I gave up four years, $100-something million deciding to be unvaccinated, and that was the decision,” Irving said to reporters on Nets Media Day. 

“(Get this) contract, get vaccinated — or be unvaccinated, and there’s a level of uncertainty of your future, whether you’re going to be in this league, whether you’re going to be on this team. So, I had to deal with that real-life circumstance of losing my job for this decision.”

Claxton Sends Strong Message on Upcoming Season

Another addition to this year’s Nets roster is the addition of sharpshooter Seth Curry, one of the most accurate marksmen in the league. With his addition, the Nets now have Curry, Kyrie, Durant, and Joe Harris, four players who possess the accuracy to shoot 40% from long-range.

Adding an elite distributor like Simmons, with a variety of shooters to get the ball to, will open the floor immensely for Brooklyn. Nets starting center Nicolas Claxton also expects it to make his job easier this season. 

“That’s gonna make my job a lot easier, just having those shooters, teams aren’t gonna be able to clog the lane as much,” Claxton told reporters via Ethan Sears of the New York Post. 

“Last year, we had a few lineups where we didn’t stretch the floor as well, but this year having those guys out there is gonna open up the lane, and it’s gonna be one-on-one.”

With or without Kyrie, the Nets will need to focus on building their chemistry in their next preseason game against Miami on October 6. It will be a key factor as the season progresses.