So far, Kyrie is back: The star guard led the Nets to victory in his first game.
The addition of Kyrie Irving gave the Brooklyn Nets the boost they needed to get out of their midseason funk.
The addition of Kyrie Irving gave the Brooklyn Nets the boost they needed to get out of a funk in the middle of the season.
He can only supply it on a part-time basis since he is unable to play in New York due to his unwillingness to be inoculated against the coronavirus. For the time being, Irving will savour every opportunity to go the road — while still hoping to put on a performance for his own supporters.
“I was aware of the implications, and I am aware of them today.” “Wednesday night, Irving remarked. “But, for the time being, I’m just going to take it one day at a time, like I said, and enjoy the time I have with my men.
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“However it appears later in the season, we’ll deal with it at that time.”
Irving led the Nets to a 129-121 away win against the Indiana Pacers in his opening game of the season, scoring 22 points.
Irving started and played 32 minutes in his much anticipated season debut after being kept out of the team’s first 35 games due to his refusal to be immunised.
Kevin Durant, a teammate and close friend, remarked, “The game of basketball is delighted to have him back.”
Irving is unable to play at home due to a vaccine requirement imposed by New York City, and was previously disliked on the road. Because he was a part-time player, the Nets sent him go during the preseason.
Things had changed. The Nets were extremely short-handed after a recent COVID-19 outbreak, and they thought that having the superstar half the time was a better alternative than adding lesser players to 10-day hardship contracts.
On Wednesday, Irving made it seem as though he made the proper option.
James Harden, a fellow All-Star guard, stated, “It seemed like he’d been playing all season.”
The Nets have dropped three consecutive games, all at home, and Irving won’t be able to help the team if he stays unvaccinated. Athletes in public events in New York City are required to get the immunisation.
However, he is free to play in road games in locations where there is no requirement, including all of the Nets’ future games during a time in which they will be on the road for seven of their next eleven games.
“It’s not an ideal scenario,” Irving said. “I’m always hoping that things get straightened out and we’re able to reach to some collective agreement, whether it’s with the league or just things happening on that may help kind of relieve what we’re all suffering with COVID and the vaccination.”
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“I believe everyone is experiencing it, so I don’t want to make it about me or about someone bending the rules for me.”
In professional athletics, Irving’s predicament is unusual.
The NBA has said that 97 percent of its players are completely vaccinated, implying that just 15 players in the league are unvaccinated, with Irving probably being one of them. The NFL said in mid-December that around 95 percent of its players are vaccinated, while the NHL boasts a 99 percent vaccination record with no more than four players unvaccinated.
The NBA claimed two-thirds of players were also upgraded as of last month, a proportion that is sure to have climbed in recent weeks given the league’s and the National Basketball Players Association’s persistent lobbying. They’ve referred to the recent spike in virus-related problems as evidence that boosters are crucial to the league’s survival.
Last month, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN that boosters are “very successful.”
Unvaccinated NBA players are subjected to almost-daily testing (with the exception of days when there is no game, practise, or travel) and more stringent requirements, such as not being able to dine with teammates and additional social-distancing rules, which include where their lockers can be in relation to their teammates.
Irving’s abilities are evident. Last season, he set a new career high with 26.9 points per game, becoming the ninth player in NBA history to shoot at least 50% from the field, 40% from 3-point range, and 90% from the free throw line.
But championship teams still need chemistry and consistency, which the Nets will aim to develop with effectively two teams: one on the road with Irving and one at home without him.
The Nets are counting on Irving’s tight friendship with Durant, as well as an experienced team that includes Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Blake Griffin, to smooth out what might otherwise be a rocky transition.
“I think they have a mature enough group, an experienced enough group,” Clippers assistant coach Brian Shaw said. “I think they have a mature enough group, an experienced enough group to kind of understand the dynamics of the business of basketball, along with the rules that are in place that made the situation what it is.” “So they’ll make the most of it,” says the narrator.
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That’s what the Nets were hoping for when they announced last month that Irving would join them for workouts and road games, reversing their previous decision. They were chastised for it, much as the Australian Open was for allowing Novak Djokovic to enter with a medical exemption despite doubts about whether he had been vaccinated, which was meant to be a requirement for him to defend his title.
Last season, the Nets were unable to win without Irving, who hurt his ankle in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Irving has a history of ailments and took a leave of absence from the club last season for personal reasons, so it’s questionable whether they can win with him.
He’s spent this one earning a chunk of his $35 million contract by refusing to play, forfeiting checks for games he deemed himself ineligible for while still being paid for the Nets’ away games. He’s been seen on his social media platforms and as a fan at Seton Hall games, but he hasn’t played against NBA competition.
When he returned, he didn’t have time to complete as much work as he had wanted since he went through health and safety processes the day after his homecoming was announced, on Dec. 18.
However, on a team with deficiencies, anything Irving can give — whenever he can deliver it — should help to alleviate some of the issues.
Durant stated, “I simply missed his presence in the locker room, the energy, the mood around the team.” “And then there’s the fact that his game is just stunning.” It makes the game a whole lot simpler for everyone.”
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