The Brooklyn Nets will be forced to “sacrifice” with Kyrie Irving banished.
The Brooklyn Nets were forced to “sacrifice” with Kyrie Irving banished. The team traded away their three leading scorers in a deal for a package of players and draft picks that will allow them to rebuild around Kevin Durant.
This season, Kyrie Irving has said that he does not want to be a distraction for the Brooklyn Nets. Regardless of your feelings on vaccines and vaccine requirements in New York City, the Nets’ star has proven to be a distraction for his team. The team’s decision to not allow Irving to participate in any games (even away games in which he would otherwise be eligible) adds to the problem, at least in terms of X’s and O’s.
Kyrie Irving supporters gathered to Barclays Center on Sunday to show their support for the Nets star. Because of people (from certain organizations who don’t always see eye to eye) showing up in New York to fight COVID-19 vaccination regulations, the team has tightened up security measures. The seven-time All-absence Star’s is also a significant topic within the Nets’ locker room.
Just after his team was thrashed by the unbeaten Charlotte Hornets in the home opener, Kevin Durant was questioned whether this Nets squad, which is currently 1-2, had enough firepower without Irving in the lineup.
KD wasn’t shy with his remarks.
“I mean, I’m not going to sit there and say, ‘Yo, we go down or it’s a close game like, dang, we don’t have enough,’ when we’re playing a game.” We’re not going to be thinking about it throughout the game, for example. Kyrie Irving should certainly be on the court. And he’s an important part of what we do,” Durant said. “However, that isn’t occurring right now, so we’ll have to devise something else.”
KD is saying all the right things, but the reality that his team is short-handed and that he is being questioned has to weigh on him and the rest of the Nets.
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Nets head coach Steve Nash is also a little perplexed by the apparent gap at the guard position. Nash indicated that he would be prepared to “sacrifice” a game or two to keep experimenting with his lineup combinations. Bruce Brown, who was an important part of the rotation last season, was out of the lineup for the first two games. There’s a lot of lineup tinkering going on, and the coach seems to be prepared to make some errors in order to figure out what works.
When it comes to the team’s rotation, Nash has used phrases like “newness” many times. He has applauded his team for not succumbing to “paralysis” as a result of the uncertainty. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill coach clichés. This is a whole different situation.
Steve Nash says he’s proud of the men for their perseverance in the face of adversity. “They stayed with it, people in and out of the lineup,” he adds. “I wasn’t paralyzed by all of the newness and change.”
October 23, 2021 — DaveEarly (@DavidEarly)
“It’s basically a delicate balance we strive for. Before Sunday’s home opener, Nash said, “You know you want to win games, but you don’t want to overreact.” “You also realize that occasionally you’ll have to sacrifice seconds or even a game here and there since you’re more interested in exploring than in caring about the outcome.” As a result, striking that balance might be difficult. I believe that is the best course of action for us at this time…. Let’s get as much exploration done as soon as possible and see where we’re at.”
The Nets, according to Steve Nash, “had to play for something larger than themselves”… Individual needs should not be allowed to come in the way of this.
October 22, 2021 — DaveEarly (@DavidEarly)
Irving may be sincere when he claims he doesn’t want to be a bother. The argument that the Nets are unfairly missing one of the league’s top players (at least for half the season) while a club like Monday’s opponent, the Washington Wizards (whose star Bradley Beal is unvaccinated but allowed to play), gets to skip this obstacle has some merit. Whatever your ideals are, it’s a bit strange that Beal and not Irving can play in Brooklyn.
But as long as there are protests outside the stadium, as long as players are asked about Irving after each loss, as long as the head coach is willing to “sacrifice” games to experiment with his rotation as he tries to fill an All-Star-sized void at guard, the word distraction starts to feel like an understatement.
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