Irving, who sat out of the Nets’ games on Thursday and Friday, missed Sunday’s 129-116 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Barclays Center due to “personal reasons,” the team announced on Sunday morning.
It’s still unclear why Irving is out.
“Ky’s still on personal leave and all the communication with Ky, between the organization, I’m going to keep private and I’m sure you’ll hear from him at some point,” Nets coach Steve Nash said before the game, via USA Today.
Though neither he nor Nash will explain the reasoning behind his absence, the New York Post’s Brian Lewis reported that Irving’s “personal reasons” are a response to the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
He is “fine physically,” per the report, but “was upset” after Wednesday’s riots and attacks in Washington, D.C. Plenty in the sports world have spoken out and condemned President Donald Trump and the violent, armed mob that stormed the Capitol — five people were killed as a result, and the House of Representatives could vote on an impeachment article as soon as Tuesday — including Lakers star LeBron James, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, WNBA star Sue Bird and more.
Kevin Durant, who was out last week due to the league’s health and safety protocols, returned Sunday and spoke about Irving after the game.
"We support him 100%"
Kevin Durant says the players have Kyrie Irving's back pic.twitter.com/Mu2U7kLHha
— SNY (@SNYtv) January 11, 2021
“I won’t speak on Kyrie. I’ll let him do that for himself,” Durant said. “I’m sure you guys will see him soon whenever he comes back. We support him 100 percent and pray for the best.”
Irving, 28, has averaged 27.1 points and 6.1 assists per game so far this season, his 10th in the league and second in Brooklyn. It’s unclear when he will return or if he will explain his time off. The Nets are set to host the Nuggets on Tuesday and then take on the Knicks on Wednesday.
“I don’t worry about Kyrie falling out of rhythm,” Nash said, via USA Today. “He’s a brilliant basketball player. When he comes back, I’m sure it won’t take him long to be himself.”
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