Nets' Kevin Durant on Kyrie Irving: 'We Want Him Here for the Whole Thing'

Adam WellsOctober 9, 2021

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) has a word with Nets guard Kyrie Irving just before the tip-off in Game 4 against the Boston Celtics during an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Sunday, May 30, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
AP Photo/Elise Amendola

With Kyrie Irving now available to practice with the Brooklyn Nets, Kevin Durant addressed where things stand with his teammate. 

Speaking to reporters after Friday's preseason game, Durant was asked about Irving's potential availability. 

"We want him here for the whole thing, practices, home games, shootarounds. Hopefully, we can figure this thing out," Durant said.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported earlier in the day that New York City officials gave Irving the go-ahead to practice with the Nets since the HSS Training Center is a private office building, but he still won't be allowed to play games in the city without being vaccinated. 

Irving's vaccination status has been one of the biggest talking points in the NBA since training camp opened last month. 

Prior to Friday's ruling, Irving had been unable to practice with the team. He has addressed his vaccination status but has yet to declare if he intends to get the shot before the start of the regular season. 

"Obviously, I'm not able to be present there today," Irving told reporters on a Zoom call during the Nets' media day on Sept. 27. "But that doesn't mean I'm putting any limits in the future on my being able to join the team."

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst, the Nets are still unclear about Irving's "ultimate intentions to get vaccinated and have made no decision on whether the organization will accommodate him as a part-time player this season."

If Irving doesn't get the vaccination, he will miss all of the Nets home games at Barclays Center. He also won't be allowed to take part in games at Madison Square Garden and Chase Center. 

The Nets do play their first two games of the season on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks on Oct. 19 and Philadelphia 76ers on Oct. 22. 

Irving is entering his third season with the Nets. The 29-year-old averaged 26.9 points on 50.6 percent shooting and 6.0 assists in 54 starts last season.   


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.