“We’re going to have to play without him this year for sure” - Steve Nash expresses concern for controversial star Kyrie Irving ahead of the 2021-22 NBA season

Brooklyn Nets All-Star Kyrie Irving on the bench
Brooklyn Nets All-Star Kyrie Irving on the bench
Jose Rohdin

According to Steve Nash, they are very aware of the COVID-19 restrictions that could influence the number of games Brooklyn Nets All-Star guard Kyrie Irving can play. The head coach of the Brooklyn Nets will prepare for the real possibility that Irving could miss many of the Nets' home games.

Nash is heading into his second season as head coach of the Nets, as this star-studded roster has high hopes for the season. Irving’s vaccination situation has been a topic of discussion all offseason, with the Nets giving no clear answer. With the preseason well on its way, the Nets finally had to deal with the Irving situation.

Brian Lewis of the New York Post reported Nash’s new comments on the situation on October 10th.

"I think we recognize he’s not playing home games. We’re going to have to for sure play without him this year. So it just depends on when, where, and how much."

A lot of this does go based on the New York City COVID-19, which is subject to change. Nash was very clear about this, and even though we know more, anything can happen.

“Anything can change. Who’s to say, the city’s ordinance could change? Anything could change.”

Irving will now be allowed to practice with the Nets in Brooklyn, as the City sees the Nets practice facility as a private office building.

New York City has determined the Brooklyn Nets‘ practice facility, HSS Training Center, is a private office building – clearing Nets All-Star Kyrie Irving to practice at home, City Hall official tells @TheAthletic @Stadium.

Kyrie Irving’s importance to the Nets season

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving taking a layup in a home game last season
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving taking a layup in a home game last season

Kyrie Irving is a critical part of the Brooklyn Nets team that will pursue the franchise’s first Larry O'Brien trophy. Last season Irving averaged 26.9 points with six assists while also joining the 50-40-90 club.

With a big three of Irving, Kevin Durant, and James Harden, reaching the NBA Finals is a real possibility. The Nets also added as much talent as possible this offseason, adding much-needed depth to the roster.

Patty Mills, Jevon Carter and Cam Thomas are the three guards that the Nets added to the roster this offseason that could step up if Irving misses time. Mills has played a crucial role for the San Antonio Spurs over the last few seasons, but has only started 57 games in his 12-year career. Carter has averaged 14.3 minutes for his three-year career, and Thomas is just a rookie.

If Irving does end up missing most of the Nets home games for the season, the effects might not be felt until the playoffs. The Nets are one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference, and with the roster they have, excluding Irving, they are still a top team. Durant and Harden are dominant on offense, and with the surrounding pieces, the Nets should still win a lot of home games.

James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant’s stats in the 4th quarter against the Clippers: Harden: 10 Points | 50 FG% (3-5) | 60 3FG% (1/2) |Kyrie: 10 Points | 75 FG% (3/4) | 100 3FG% (2-2)Durant: 9 Points | 100 FG% (3-3) | 100 3FG% (1-1) “There’s only one ball!!!”

If Kyrie Irving is still unwilling to get the COVID-19 vaccine, or New York City does change the rules, come playoff time, this might become an issue. The Nets have massive expectations for this season, and that is reaching the NBA Finals. If the Nets are down an All-Star in pivotal playoff home games, that could change the outcome for the Nets season.

Also Read: What is Kyrie Irving's Net Worth in 2021?

Edited by Arnav Kholkar
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