Kyrie Irving's Surgery on Shoulder Injury a 'Big Picture' Decision for Nets

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2020

Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, in New York. The Nets won 133-118. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his shoulder, a decision the team made while planning for the future.

"I think we look at our players' long-term health as the No. 1 priority," general manager Sean Marks said, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN. "Kyrie has been adamant like the rest of us that he would take one cortisone shot and see how it goes.

"We are looking at the big picture here. We are not looking at the next 2-3 months. We are looking at the next 2-3 years."

Brooklyn signed Irving and Kevin Durant to four-year deals in the offseason, but Durant will miss the entire year while recovering from a torn Achilles. Meanwhile, Irving has been limited to just 20 games this year while dealing with his shoulder impingement and his recent knee sprain.

By shutting the point guard down for the year, the Nets can try to get both players close to 100 percent by the start of next season and truly live up to expectations that came with the big free-agent signings.

Considering there are 16 All-Star selections and three NBA titles between the duo, the team could enter next year as one of the favorites to win a championship.

Of course, Brooklyn has played well even without the big names this year. The squad entered Thursday seventh in the Eastern Conference with a 25-28 record, potentially good enough to reach the playoffs for the second straight season.

Spencer Dinwiddie and company will undoubtedly try to make a run even without Irving and Durant, but the organization is clearly looking ahead to next year and beyond.

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