Although talk of Kyrie Irving has diminished in recent weeks, the absence of the All-Star point guard still looms over the Brooklyn Nets like a dark cloud. The team has performed just fine without him, but is nowhere near the historic offensive threat they could be with him on the floor.
There’s been speculation that the relationship between members of the Nets organization and Irving has been fractured during his COVID-19 vaccine-related absence, especially since the team announced that it would not allow him to be a part-time participant. However, head coach Steve Nash recently revealed that he’s still keeping in touch with 29-year-old point guard.
Prior to the Nets game against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday, Nash shared that he’s still communicating with Irving. The head coach explained that he keeps in touch with his point guard just to see how he’s doing, but that the two “don’t really talk about basketball” when they do catch up.
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
At this point, it’s unclear when or even if Irving will return to the Nets this year. He remains under contract in Brooklyn until the end of this season and has a player option in his deal for 2022-23, but hasn’t indicated that he’ll rejoin the team with the New York City COVID-19 mandate still in place.
On Tuesday night against the Warriors, the Nets certainly could’ve used Irving. Stars Kevin Durant and James Harden both struggled to produce at their usual rates and Brooklyn fell to Golden State 117-99. Steph Curry was masterful in the Warriors victory, scoring 37 points and connecting on 9-of-14 three-point attempts.
The Nets would have appreciated having a talented scorer like Irving against the Warriors, especially with Durant and Harden off their game, but for the most part have been just fine without the 7-time All-Star so far this season. Brooklyn is currently 10-5 and third in the Eastern Conference.
So, Nash may be in touch with Irving, but it doesn’t seem like he’ll be begging him to come back anytime soon.
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