After releasing a statement in mid-October explicitly saying that Kyrie Irving wouldn’t be allowed to be part of the team unless it was as a full participant, the Brooklyn Nets reversed their way of thinking. Irving began the process of re-joining Brooklyn on Friday as a part-time player, but then entered the health and safety protocols on Saturday.
According to Sean Marks, the Nets decided to allow Irving to return because of how COVID-19 had wrecked the team in addition to the excessive workload for key players like Kevin Durant and James Harden. There are currently 10 players in the health and safety protocols. Durant and Harden are near the top of the NBA’s list of minutes played per game, and that isn’t sustainable.
There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding Brooklyn. The team’s games against Denver, Washington and Portland were postponed because of the outbreak, meaning, that as of right now, the Nets’ next game is at Los Angeles on Dec. 25. Who will be out of the protocols at that point? There’s no way to know for sure.
In regard to Irving’s availability, there are even more questions. When will he take the court for the first time? He’s supposed to be a part-time player for the rest of the year, right? That was the plan? Well, not even Marks is sure about that anymore … after, like, a few days.
Will Kyrie Irving be a part-time player for the Brooklyn Nets?
If you’ve been trying to keep up with what’s happening in Brooklyn, your head is likely spinning right now.
Here’s what Mark W. Sanchez of the New York Post asked Marks recently:
"“What if the “current circumstances” change, the Nets’ health improves and they continue to have a star who refuses to get vaccinated and plays only in half their games?”"
To which Marks replied:
"“That’s a little bit of a hypothetical. I don’t know what’s around the corner.”"
The course of action for the Nets changed hours after they decided to bring Irving back on board? A player who enters the protocol either tested positive, had a close contact that tested positive, or received an inclusive test result. Irving now has to wait and test negative two days in a row before he can begin his process of re-joining Brooklyn.
There are more than 70 players in the protocols, so the current state of the NBA is looking bleak. And with a three-game road trip on the horizon, the Nets have more to worry about than Irving’s timetable.
But this is becoming even more embarrassing by the day for the Nets. First, they decide to bring an unvaccinated Irving back during a COVID outbreak. Then he entered the protocols within hours of the announcement. Now, Marks isn’t even fully committing to Irving remaining on the team for the rest of the season if he’s still unwilling to get vaccinated (which he probably is)?
For the preseason title favorites, the Nets surely aren’t acting like they have it together at the moment.