The Brooklyn Nets were without star guard Kyrie Irving on Thursday night, and his absence will be extended at least one more game. Irving sat out of the Nets' win over the Philadelphia 76ers due to personal reasons and did not join the team on their flight to Memphis for Friday night's game against the Grizzlies.
Ahead of Friday's game, Nets coach Steve Nash told reporters that he's spoken to Irving but is choosing to keep their conversation private. We're just going to keep that between us," Nash said. "It was a personal matter, so we're going to keep it personal and respect privacy." That echoes the sentiment from Caris LeVert, who declined to get into any sort of specifics, but said after Thursday night's outing that Irving texted the team to inform them of his decision.
At this point, Irving's rationale for sitting out remains unknown, and it would be unwise to speculate further. If Irving wants to share his reasoning, he will. After a short road trip Memphis, the Nets will return to Brooklyn for home games against the Thunder on Sunday and the Nuggets on Tuesday. It's unclear when he'll return to the lineup.
The Nets are also currently without their other star, Kevin Durant after he was exposed to COVID-19 and required to quarantine for seven days. Durant, who previously had COVID-19 last year, has been testing negative throughout the process. If that trend continues, Nash expects him to be cleared and back on the court on Sunday.
When he has been on the court this season, Irving has been fantastic, averaging 27.1 points, 6.1 assists and 5.3 rebounds, while making an early push for the 50/40/90 club. He's shooting 50.4 percent from the field, 42.6 percent from 3-point land and 100 percent from the free throw line.