Last week, Kyrie Irving stated via Instagram Live that he would not be retiring from the NBA despite not being vaccinated. However, it is a decision that the Nets have made clear that Irving won’t be able to practice or participate in any other activities.
“Given the evolving nature of the situation and after thorough deliberation, we have decided Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant,” general manager Sean Marks said in a statement.
Adding it would fly in the face of efforts to “build chemistry as a team.” He insisted the team has no qualms with Irving’s decision not to get inoculated.
“Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose,” Marks said. “Currently the choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability. It is imperative that we continue to build chemistry as a team and remain true to our long-established values of togetherness and sacrifice.”
After the Nets lost their season opener on the road to the Milwaukee Bucks 127-104, Kevin Durant talked about it being an uphill battle all game.
“Tonight they shot  more shots than us, and it was that way since the first quarter, so we were climbing uphill all game,” Durant said. “We had good spurts, cut it to seven, cut it to eight a few times, but we just couldn’t get over the hump because they had more possessions than us; they created more offense for themselves with offensive rebounds. They had like five of them in one possession.
“We didn’t turn them over. I think they had seven turnovers … Possession game is a battle for us, with all the other stuff. Rotations and rhythm and all that stuff will come, but we can’t give a team 20 more shots than us. Imagine coming into a game and we say ‘Here, take the ball 20 times on offense before we get an offensive possession.’ Everybody’s going to lose that. That’s what it felt like the game was today.”
James Harden echoed Durant’s comments.
“It’s our rebounding, 50-50 balls that they got basically all of them tonight that led to open threes,” Harden said. “They shot  more threes than us, so we’ve just got to get the ball up. We’ve got to get shots up, shots at the rim, because when we do, we’re a really good team.
“I feel like every time we got close, things didn’t go our way for whatever reason and they capitalized on it every single time. So, it was a good test for us tonight. Now we’ve got to be ready for Friday’s game.”
On Thursday afternoon, former Nets’ guard Jamal Crawford was on Clubhouse in the Spring Hill room and shared his picks to reach the finals this season.
Crawford stated that Brooklyn wins a championship if Irving plays.
“If Kyrie Irving plays the Nets win the championship. If he does not the @Bucks coming out the East. If so Bucks beat the Lakers.”
Also, if Irving comes back, he will take pressure off of Durant and Harden.
“If he come back he will take a lot of pressure off KD and James Harden. If he doesn’t they won’t get past the Bucks.”
The Brooklyn Nets take on the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night at 7:30 pm EST on ESPN.