Kyrie Irving’s absence from the Nets will extend into a second game, according to reports.
The point guard sat out Brooklyn’s home win over Philadelphia on Thursday night for what the team called personal reasons. The Nets (per ESPN’s Malika Andrews and Adrian Wojnarowski) said after the game that Irving would not travel with the team to Memphis for its Friday night game vs. the Grizzlies. Wojnarowski reported the second absence is also for personal reasons.
San Francisco television station KRON reported, without citing sources, that Irving sat out Thursday because of the violence that occurred at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday as Congress was certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College.
Nets coach Steve Nash told reporters before the game he was “obviously thinking about” Irving and that he hopes “all is well.” After the game, he pushed back on reports that Irving simply didn’t want to play.
“I haven’t spoken to him yet. I can’t really comment because I haven’t spoken to him and it’s personal reasons so it’d have to come from Kyrie, but I don’t believe that to be the case,” Nash said.
The team is heading to Tennessee early Friday, reports Joe Vardon of The Athletic, even though the 76ers have to quarantine in New York following a positive COVID-19 test result, reportedly for guard Seth Curry, during the game. Curry left the court in the first half when the positive result became known, Wojnarowski reported.
Nets forward Kevin Durant missed a second consecutive game Thursday after reportedly being exposed to someone who tested positive for coronavirus. Durant could return as early as Sunday if he continues to test negative for COVID-19, Nash told reporters pregame.
Irving is off to a strong start on the court this season, averaging 27.1 points, 6.1 assists and 5.3 rebounds.
Material from Stats Perform News was used in this report.
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