Nets' Steve Nash: Decision to Move Forward Without Kyrie Irving Was 'Sound'

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIOctober 13, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 03: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets during a preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on October 3, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash commented on the team's decision to keep point guard Kyrie Irving away from the team until he agrees to adhere to New York City's COVID-19 mandate.

"Everyone had their say," Nash told reporters regarding the team's lead-in to its ultimate decision.

"It takes time to make decisions like that. This is a difficult decision. But I think it was a sound one and one that makes complete sense to everyone.

"We are just going to move on, and if things change, it would be incredible to have him back in the fold. It was a tenuous situation to have a player in and out like that. There's more clarity, and we can focus on the future and get going."

Nets general manager Sean Marks announced Tuesday that Irving would not be with the team until he was "eligible to be a full participant."

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

Nets GM Sean Marks statement on Brooklyn's decision to sit Kyrie Irving until he fulfills NYC vaccination rules: <a href="https://t.co/4LBIQXt7al">pic.twitter.com/4LBIQXt7al</a>

New York City currently mandates that anyone entering an indoor gym needs at least one COVID-19 shot. That would include Barclays Center, the Nets' home, meaning that Irving would miss 41 regular-season home games unless vaccinated.

"Well, if he was vaccinated, we wouldn't be having this discussion. I think that's probably pretty clear," Marks said when asked if Irving was vaccinated.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Tuesday that Irving has no plans to get vaccinated at this time.

Sans Irving, the remaining Big Three members of James Harden and Kevin Durant figure to see more usage.

Bruce Brown should enter the starting lineup for Irving, and Joe Harris will remain out on the wing. LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin figure to occupy most of the time at center.

Despite missing a seven-time All-Star in Irving (26.9 PPG, 6.0 APG last year), the Nets figure to be one of the top contenders for the NBA crown.

We'll find out where they are at soon enough when they start their season Tuesday against the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks.


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