Kyrie Irving missed last week’s Nets-76ers game reportedly for a mental-health day. Understandable in the aftermath of no charges being filed in the police shooting of Jacob Blake and pro-Donald Trump rioters storming the U.S. Capitol. It was hard to focus on basketball at that point.

But Irving’s extended absence – which included attending his sister’s birthday maskless – raised major questions. Why was Irving away so long?

Apparently, he reported for a league-mandated five-day quarantine four days ago.

NBA:

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving has been fined $50,000 for violating the league’s Health and Safety Protocols, which among other things prohibit attending indoor social gatherings of 15 or more people or entering bars, lounges, clubs or similar establishments, it was announced today by Byron Spruell, President, League Operations.  The violation occurred when he attended a private indoor party last weekend.

Irving will forfeit salary for any games he misses due to his five-day quarantine period, which will allow him to return to team activities on Sat., Jan. 16 if he continues to test negative.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

As long as he tests negative and clears protocol, Kyrie Irving will be available and expected to play for the Nets vs. Orlando on Saturday, sources tell ESPN.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 15, 2021

Suddenly, Irving’s absence – which began Thursday of last week – looks far more reasonable.

He took a day or two in the aftermath of the major national news. At that point, it was the weekend of his sister’s birthday party. If he wanted to take another day or two to celebrate with family, that’s understandable. I wouldn’t advise gathering indoors with a large group of maskless people. But coronavirus isn’t our only challenge. The distancing necessary to prevent spread of the virus can be detrimental to mental health. There can be essential value in spending time with loved ones. Then, Irving reported to quarantine Monday.

Still, Irving should explain himself more fully upon his return. He’s the one who said (in a statement during his preseason media boycott): “I am committed to show up to work everyday, ready to have fun, compete, perform, and win championships alongside my teammates and colleagues in the Nets organization.” That obviously didn’t remain the case for long.

Skipping media week got Irving fined $25,000 and caused him more frustration. This will cost him another $50,000 plus $816,890 for missing two games during his quarantine.

Nets general manager Sean Marks clearly knew something yesterday when he implied Irving was ready to return to the team and said Irving was excited to play with James Harden. Soon, the focus will return to basketball – and how Kevin Durant, Harden and Irving fit together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Hornets hand Nets first loss of season

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Gordon Hayward had 28 points, seven assists and six rebounds, and the Charlotte Hornets handed the Brooklyn Nets their first loss of the season, 106-104 on Sunday night. Terry Rozier added 19 points, including two clutch…

Long: Drivers unite for Bubba Wallace on a day the sport won’t forget

As he stood near Bubba Wallace and looked at the drivers and crew members behind them on pit road at Talladega Superspeedway, seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson welled with pride. The vivid collection of uniforms featured people of different color…

Jones returns to IndyCar after one-year hiatus

Ed Jones will return to the NTT IndyCar series in 2021 with Dale Coyne Racing and Vasser Sullivan Racing (DCVS) after a one-year hiatus. Sealmaster will return as the sponsor on the No. 18 for the fourth consecutive season. Last…

Bradie Tennell wins second national title

She had to wait three years for it, but Bradie Tennell earned her second national title Friday night at the 2021 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Las Vegas. Tennell tallied 153.21 points in the free skate and a 232.61 total.…