It’s been nearly two months since the Brooklyn Nets decided that Kyrie Irving wouldn’t be a part-time player for them, and nothing’s changed. Brooklyn’s in first place in the East without Irving, although it’s clear having him back on the court would make the team a juggernaut. Sadly, Shams Charania’s latest report suggests the Nets will be faced with this reality for the foreseeable future.
There’s not much that can be done right now since he isn’t allowed to step foot inside of Barclays Center, and the Nets don’t have time to sit around and wonder what life would be if Irving were back in the picture.
Steve Nash has said that he keeps in contact with Irving, but that the two don’t talk about basketball. Instead, Nash inquires about Irving’s well-being. Being the head coach, that’s expected of Nash because, even though Irving isn’t present, he’s still a member of the team.
The unfortunate aspect of it all is that Nash is going to have to field questions about the seven-time All-Star. On Monday, he was asked about how Brooklyn’s approaching Irving’s situation at this point in the year.
Will Kyrie Irving play for the Brooklyn Nets this season?
Only Irving knows if he’s going to eventually play alongside fellow stars Kevin Durant and James Harden again. However, unless New York City reverses its local mandate, it seems as if the 29-year-old is going to continue his end of the holdout. And Nash has properly coped with that reality. At this point, he views the point guard’s return as nothing more than a bonus and knows the team must continue to get better given the current circumstances.
It is nice to imagine if the Nets were operating at full strength, though. Durant’s keeping Brooklyn afloat, but Irving’s presence would easily elevate the roster. Harden’s struggled as the team’s point guard, so perhaps having Irving back would help to improve Harden’s game … and allow KD to get some more rest.
Then again, it’s not worthwhile to speculate too much about what the 2021-22 Nets would look like with Irving back on the floor. As Nash said, his return would be a gift, but it’s not something that can be counted on. At this point, a trade is more likely than Irving playing for the Nets again.
In the end, the Nets need to focus on what they can control. So far, so good. But shortcomings and holes remain, so using the next 59 games to determine how to fix those is the paramount concern at the moment.