Are the Nets unsatisfied with Kyrie Irving's communication amid his absence?

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Ian Begley
·3 min read
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Kyrie pulls up shot against ATL
Kyrie pulls up shot against ATL

Nets star Kevin Durant doesn’t want to speak on behalf of Kyrie Irving. But he made it clear that Irving has his full support during the point guard’s absence.

“We support him 100 percent and pray for the best,” Durant said after Brooklyn’s loss to Oklahoma City.

Irving has been out for the past three games due to personal reasons. Nets head coach Steve Nash referred to Irving’s absence as "personal leave" on Sunday, which suggests that Irving and the organization are in agreement over his absence.

Nash said he didn’t have a timeline for Irving’s potential return.

“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,” Nash said.

Nash has been asked twice over the past two games whether the organization is satisfied with Irving’s communication over his absence.

“I’m not going to go into any of the talks with Ky, that’s just a private matter,” Nash said Sunday.

As the head coach, Nash is the Nets’ daily spokesperson. So he communicates on behalf of the organization when he talks about Irving.

That’s why it was a bit striking to me that Nash didn’t come out and say that the Nets were satisfied with the way Irving communicated his absence to the club. It would have been easy for Nash to say, "We have no issue with the way Ky communicated it to us.”

He didn’t, which leaves open the possibility that the Nets aren’t thrilled with the way Irving told them about his absence. Nash said that he hadn’t heard from Irving before he missed Thursday’s game against the Sixers, the first game that the point guard missed due to personal reasons. Irving had texted teammates before the game.

That’s why it was notable that Nash didn’t come out and say that the organization was satisfied with Irving’s communication around his absence. Maybe Nash didn’t want to offer any comment on the matter and referring to it as a private matter was the best approach. Maybe there was another reason why Nash wouldn’t simply say that the Nets were OK with the way Irving communicated with them.

But the way the Nets and Nash have talked about Irving’s absence leaves the door open for speculation about the organization’s feelings on the way Irving handled everything.

There’s nothing that suggests Brooklyn is unhappy with the reason for Irving’s absence. Nash has consistently said that Irving’s absence is a personal matter and hasn’t commented much further.

As long as his teammates, coaches and the front office are OK with Irving’s absence, then it won’t be a lingering issue for Brooklyn. But if some in the organization aren’t happy with the way Irving communicated his absence, that could have an impact on the season.

This is a high-stakes season in Brooklyn. Irving and Durant are playing together for the first time. Nash is a first-time head coach. There are championship expectations. The Nets are 1-2 in Irving’s absence.

They play Denver on Tuesday and face the Knicks on Wednesday.