Kyrie Irving has been the talk of the town. First, it was The Athletic’s Shams Charania reporting that the Nets have some “renewed optimism” about Irving’s return and that he and Kevin Durant have been corresponding regularly about his fit on the team. Charania made it clear that the Nets’ players and coaches would welcome him back with open arms.
That said, no resolution to Brooklyn’s Kai-sized problem was provided in Charani’s article. Irving could return as a full-time player by getting vaccinated, which Shams himself has shot down numerous times in his reporting. It doesn’t appear as if the Nets will be reversing their course by allowing him to join part-time for road games, at least according to Shams.
Then, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer noted that the Nets have been open to “discussing trades” for Irving, though nothing has been substantive.
Before tip-off of Tuesday’s game against Toronto, Steve Nash was asked if he felt there was any reason for “renewed optimism” of a Kyrie Irving return.
“I haven’t and I have no updates,” said Nash. “I have connected with him but totally outside of the scope of the question. We connected last week but not with any intel or sight that that’s changing.”
In his story, Charania mentioned — like many other reporters — that Irving has been staying in shape and ready for an opportunity should it come along. Nash confirmed this but also stated nothing has changed logistically for the Nets. Reading between the lines, it doesn’t sound like he feels that Irving’s decision to remain unvaccinated will change nor will the Nets back down on effectively banishing him from the team.
“I know he’s working out and I know he’d love to be playing but I think the boundaries are the same as they were before the recent reports.”
Meanwhile, Brooklyn sits at just eight active players — the minimum — with James Harden, Bruce Brown, James Johnson, DeAndre’ Bembry, Jevon Carter, and Paul Millsap all flagged for health & safety protocols.
Minutes before the game began, there was an irony: Bruce Brown appeared in a Pfizer/Biontech commercial advising everyone to get vaccinated, as he has.