Kyrie Irving Puts Nets on Notice After Bulls Snap Win Streak

Kyrie Irving

Getty Kyrie Irving at United Center during a matchup with the Chicago Bulls.

The Brooklyn Nets had their NBA-best 12-game win streak snapped by the Chicago Bulls on January 4, falling by a score of 112-121. The Nets remained within striking distance for most of the contest, largely due in part to their All-Star forward Kevin Durant, who led all scorers with 44 points on the night. But ultimately Durant’s scoring outburst wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit.

Durant has been the catalyst for the Nets’ 12-game win-streak, as he is averaging 29.9 points per game this season on a scorching 56.8% from the field. But Durant and Kyrie Irving have been the only constants for the Nets this season, as the contributions of the other Nets players have been sporadic at best. After the loss, Irving put his Nets teammates on notice about the importance of him and the rest of the team giving Durant the necessary help for the Nets to be successful.

“To be honest with you, 40 points in the first quarter is a lot, especially when you’re playing the Bulls, who are trying to find their rhythm over their last few games. We put ourselves in a hole in that first and second quarter coming into halftime,” Irving said after the loss via SNY.

“Obviously, KD is special, but he can only do so much on his own. We’ve been talking about just helping him out and [this] was one of those nights where we just didn’t make enough shots on the perimeter.”

Nets sharpshooter Royce O’Neale, who went 0-9 from the field in the loss, echoed a sentiment similar to Irving’s.

“It was on us,” O’Neale said to the New York Post after the loss. “We had a couple of letdowns, mistakes on the defensive end that we could’ve avoided and that they took advantage of. … So, it’s just learning from it and being more aggressive and more alert.”

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Jacque Vaughn Gives Update on TJ Warren Injury

The Nets also suffered a key injury in their loss to the Bulls, as reserve forward TJ Warren left the contest with a rib contusion and did not return. Warren was beginning to find his groove with the Nets, scoring at least 12 points in five of their last six games, including a 23-point outburst against the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 26.

After the loss, Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn updated reporters on Warren’s injury.

“Yeah, you got a rib contusion, so they’ll take a look at him. I got no update more than that. But that illegal screen kind of produced that,” Vaughn said via the New York Post.

“I don’t know. They just told me before I walked out and when he had checked out the game, so I’ll meet with those guys. Not sure about scans, though.”

Kyrie Irving Responds to Rumors About His Next Sneaker

On October 27,  Irving shared the link to a film that featured anti-Semitic tropes, which received a lot of criticism. Although the All-Star point guard eventually apologized for his decision to share the link, it was not in a timely enough fashion, as sneaker giant Nike officially cut ties with the Nets star on December 5.

Irving, who had one of the most prominent sneaker lines with the Nike brand, is officially a sneaker-free agent and looking for a new home. The Nets star has been linked to the independent brand Somewhere In America (SIA), which is run by Devlin Carter. On December 29, Irving responded to the rumors of him potentially choosing SIA as his next brand.

“In terms of SIA Collective, great brand, great brothers, the great operation team behind the scenes, but again, I’m looking for a home where we can build a huge marketplace, and I can have some ownership. But that takes time to build,” Irving said via SNY.

It will be interesting to see what brand Irving ultimately inks his next deal with.