Kyrie Irving’s status for James Harden’s possible Nets debut after protocol violation, $50,000 fine
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving — whom fans want to see alongside James Harden — will most likely not return to the team this Saturday against the Orlando Magic, as reported by ESPN’s Malika Andrews:
Sources: Kyrie Irving will be out due to health and safety protocols for Saturday’s game against Orlando.
While Irving has expressed a desire to return, sources say, the extensive time away from the court requires a period of ramping up basketball activities.
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) January 15, 2021
Though Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Kyrie Irving was set to return to the team to play the Magic as long as Irving tested negative for COVID-19 and quarantined, Andrews confirmed his status for tomorrow’s matchup.
Kyrie Irving was fined $50,000 after breaking the NBA’s COVID-19 health protocols, as images surfaced of Irving attending a house party with more than 15 individuals maskless.
With James Harden landing in Brooklyn this week, Nets fans are excited about the prospect of the team bringing home a championship. However, Kyrie Irving’s absence from the team may pose challenges to the team’s and head coach Steve Nash’s journey to the top of the Eastern Conference.
The reality of Irving’s absence is a minor annoyance and inconvenience. Of much greater concern is Irving’s long-term ability to play at the highest level on a consistent basis and invest himself fully in the Nets’ pursuit of greatness.
Harden could potentially start against the Magic if he does not test positive for COVID-19 anytime between now and this start of the game. Without Kyrie Irving, the offense will be led by Harden and Kevin Durant, one of the most dynamic offensive duos in the league.
When Kyrie Irving does return, the responsibility of reintegrating him into the offense will fall on Nash in order to maximize everyone’s talents.
Irving has averaged 27.1 points, 6.1 assists, and 5.3 rebounds in the seven games that he has played this season. His incredible shooting from beyond the arc and efficient 50.4% from the field and 100% from the free-throw line will contribute to the Nets’ success this season. Team chemistry must be built between these superstars, and that starts one game at a time for Brooklyn.