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Kyrie Irving fined $50,000 by NBA for being at party, could return to team activities on Saturday

Nick Bromberg
·2 min read
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Kyrie Irving has been fined $50,000 by the NBA after a video of him maskless at a birthday party surfaced this week.

Irving hasn’t played since Jan. 5 for the Brooklyn Nets for personal reasons. In his time away from the team he was filmed in attendance at a family birthday party.

The NBA announced that it was investigating Irving’s actions after the video became public. Friday, the league said that Irving had been fined for violating the league’s COVID-19 protocols. The NBA’s rules “prohibit attending indoor social gatherings of 15 or more people or entering bars, lounges, clubs or similar establishments.”

Irving has to forfeit salary

The NBA also said that Irving will not get paid for any games that he misses during a five-day quarantine period before he rejoins the team. If Irving continues to test negative, he’d be able to rejoin the Nets on Saturday.

Assuming Irving can get back with the team on Saturday he’ll have missed games on Tuesday and Wednesday during his quarantine period. Irving’s contract is scheduled to pay him over $33 million during the truncated 72-game season.

Utah Jazz's Royce O'Neale, right, defends Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving (11) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Kyrie Irving could return to the Nets on Saturday. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Irving and Harden to play Saturday?

Brooklyn has gone 3-2 in Irving’s absence and has won back-to-back games since losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday. Could Irving play on Saturday against the Orlando Magic? According to ESPN, he’s expected to be in the lineup despite not playing in nearly two weeks.

That means the Nets could have both Irving and James Harden in the lineup with Kevin Durant for the first time this season. The former Rockets star could make his Brooklyn debut with the team on Saturday after the four-team trade that sent him from Houston to the Nets for players and a flurry of draft picks and swaps was made official on Thursday morning. Harden is currently averaging nearly 25 points per game this season though he has scored more than 20 points just once since 2021 began.

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