Athletes by Conrad Hoyt January 11, 2021
Kyrie Irving missed his third straight game Sunday due to personal reasons, leading Brooklyn Nets fans and just naturally inquisitive specimens alike to wonder when Irving’s return will take place.
The Nets have dropped two out of their last three games, and with Kevin Durant’s status in question due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, Irving’s absence has exacerbated the Nets’ recent woes.
Kyrie Irving’s absence began after the January 6 storming of Capitol Hill by the pro-Trump mob. Irving, a deep-thinker and emotional feeler, has been in the limelight for his actions before. But this time is different.
Will we see a glorious knight-in-shining-armor headline declaring “Kyrie Irving Returns, Nets Back on Track”? Or will it be a much more harrowing one for Brooklynites: “Kyrie Irving Decides to Retire from Basketball”?
With Kyrie, anything is possible, both with his game and outside of it. These questions add intrigue to the biggest enigma in the NBA, but they also, for some people, cast aspersions. Here’s a deep dive into Kyrie Irving’s status missing games and whether it is likely or not he will return soon.
Besides what the media has been told is due to “personal reasons,” there have been no updates on the specifics of Kyrie Irving’s absence. Recent fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, and NBA fans in general, know not to take these things too lightly.
Irving prioritizes his mental health above all else, as he should. But a steady streamline of communication between him and the Nets organization is essential for the franchise’s success.
“We support him 100 percent,” said Kevin Durant of Kyrie’s current situation. Nets Head Coach Steve Nash also naturally had to weigh in on Irving’s absence.
“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.”Steve Nash
The Nets clearly publicly, and seemingly privately too, respect Kyrie Irving and stand with him in solidarity. One can hope that those feelings are mutual, and that Kyrie can get back on the floor soon.
Kyrie’s actions off the court are much like his actions on it. After saying he believes the Earth is flat, fans yell out “what is he doing?” just like they do when he makes an insane up-and-under layup.
When he calls the media “pawns,” supporters scream “what on Earth is he doing?!!” just like they do when he takes a long-range three-pointer at the beginning of the shot clock, which subsequently goes in.
Irving looks beneath the surface. No one can ever say he was conned by the powers that be.
Irving has done an immense amount of work for the disenfranchised, and is a constant advocate for women, specifically Black women. He is, by all accounts, a great man, leader, and role model.
Different things affect different people differently. And Kyrie is not one to blindly follow someone in front of him. We can learn a lot from him, while still positing that his actions have a large effect on his team.
We don’t know when Kyrie Irving’s return will be, and his absence is felt daily by the Nets and entire league alike.
From November onward, there has been much uncertainty, vitriol, and blatant lies in the airwaves of the United States. There has been an echo chamber of misinformation and hateful rhetoric that has been impossible to tune out.
While those of us on the side of justice feel a near-impenetrable amount of obstacles to cross, let us remember we are together in this.
Kyrie Irving’s absence clearly takes a toll on the Nets and their aspirations. His return is up in the air, just like much of the NBA is right now with players sidelined due to COVID.
It is not our job to cast aspersions on Irving for his missing games, but rather to empathize with him. We may all be different, but in our experiences, most of us have been through much of the same.
For the Nets and Irving’s sake, let’s remember the NBA is a family, and a player missing time due to personal reasons should not be scoffed at. When Kyrie’s return does come, we will feel reignited to follow one of the best players the game has ever seen.