- Kyrie Irving has missed three games for “personal” reasons that have not yet been made clear.
- Nets head coach Steve Nash admitted after the first missed game that he had not heard from Irving.
- Nash declined to comment on whether he has been satisfied with Irving’s communication during the absence.
- Irving is reported to be “ok,” but Kevin Durant said he would “pray” for Irving and let Irving explain his absence himself.
- One report said that Irving’s absence was related to the recent riots at the Capitol.
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Kyrie Irving has missed the last three Brooklyn Nets games for “personal” reasons that have not yet been made clear.
While personal absences are not uncommon in the NBA, there is often a reason attributed to them. In Irving’s case, there is a certain mystery surrounding his absence.
Irving first missed a January 7 game against the Philadelphia 76ers. Before the game, Nets head coach Steve Nash said he had reached out to Irving but hadn’t heard back. After the game, he said he couldn’t comment on the absence because he still hadn’t heard from Irving.
“I can’t really comment because I haven’t spoken to him, and it’s personal reasons,” Nash said.
The Athletic’s Joe Vardon reported that the Nets were “generally” aware of Irving’s reason for not playing and that it had been communicated to Nash. Vardon reported that a source close to Irving said Irving was “ok.”
Irving has since missed the last two Nets games for personal reasons, and the team said he would miss Tuesday’s game as well.
On Sunday, Nash told reporters that he has spoken to Irving but wanted to keep the details private. When asked if he is satisfied with how Irving has communicated through the process, Nash again said he wanted to keep it confidential.
“I’m not going to go into any of the talks with Ky. That’s just a private matter,” Nash said.
As SNY’s Ian Begley noted, if Irving doesn’t want the reason for his absence to get out, then the Nets will keep it internal. Still, the team could have dispelled any notion of friction by publicly supporting him and approving his communication.
Nash added that he didn’t have a timeline for Irving’s return. He said, “I’m sure you’ll hear from him at some point.”
Nets teammate Kevin Durant shared a similar message, saying he supports Irving and will pray for him.
“I wouldn’t speak for Kyrie. I’ll let him do that for himself,” Durant said. “I’m sure you guys will see him soon when he comes back, and we support him 100 per cent and pray for the best.”
The New York Post reported that Irving’s absence was related to the riots at the Capitol last Wednesday.
Irving has become an advocate for social justice and racial inequality. He was an opponent of the NBA’s restart plan in Orlando over the summer, reportedly saying in a meeting: “I don’t support going into Orlando. I’m not with the systematic racism and the bulls— â€¦ Something smells a little fishy.”
Irving was fined by the NBA earlier in the season for refusing to speak to media.
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