Kyrie Irving has yet to play a game this season despite once being considered an integral part of the Brooklyn Nets’ championship aspirations.
Without Irving, Brooklyn is currently 10-5 on the year – good for third place in the Eastern Conference.
By now, everyone knows Irving’s situation. He refuses to get the COVID-19 vaccination. New York mandates that athletes get vaccinated. Thus, Irving cannot participate.
This week, Nets head coach Steve Nash got brutally honest about the status of his relationship with Irving amid all the drama.
Steve Nash says he still keeps in touch with Kyrie Irving, but the two “don’t really talk about basketball” pic.twitter.com/kpYuZeG8By
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) November 16, 2021
“Kyrie, I stay in touch with Kyrie but we don’t really talk about basketball just stay in touch and make sure everything is good with him,” Nash said.
After Brooklyn’s defeat to the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night, Nash acknowledged that Irving’s absence had certainly made game planning harder.
“I think offensively we have all these different lineups,” he said. “Different backgrounds, styles of play, 10 new players on our team, it takes time. We started the year with a continuity plan from last year that got thrown out the window obviously when Ky didn’t come back, so we’re trying to build and figure it out.”
Interestingly enough, not everyone has been as patient with Irving as Nash. On Wednesday morning, ESPN NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith went off on him over his extended absence.
“Kevin Durant, I’m sad for you bro. … You have no help. And more importantly than anything else, you made the wrong decision by going to Brooklyn. … KYRIE IRVING BETRAYED YOU!”@stephenasmith LOST IT pic.twitter.com/gjw5tAZVcO
— First Take (@FirstTake) November 17, 2021
“Kyrie Irving betrayed you! Flat out betrayed you. Left you hanging,” he said. “And while you’re sitting up there… they were cheering for Steph Curry in Brooklyn (last night)… You got Kyrie Irving who is a showstopper – a superstar talent… and can’t be trusted. I actually hope Kyrie Irving gets cut…”
While Durant has yet to really speak out on this whole situation beyond just the normal platitudes, there have been multiple reports that his relationship with Irving has significantly deteriorated. James Harden has also been very blunt regarding the topic of Irving’s absence.
Alex Caruso’s model girlfriend brought a special guest to the last Lakers game. https://t.co/6Kkvr8EbpU
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 17, 2021
Various videos leaking out of Irving doing who-knows-what obviously haven’t helped matters any.
It will be interesting to see how this situation ultimately plays out. Will Irving ever play for the Nets again? Time will tell.
Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7’s go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.