The Nets got here into their nationally televised sport in opposition to Phoenix on Saturday night time having received 12 of their previous 14 video games. And it doesn’t matter what occurred in opposition to the white-hot Suns, they had been assured of popping out atop the Jap Convention.
And all this with out Kyrie Irving, who hasn’t performed as a consequence of his refusal to stick to New York Metropolis’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
The Nets have been content material to provide their All-Star guard his area. And after they do attain out to him — from coaches to teammates — it’s about his well-being, not about weakside protection. They simply speak about him, not about basketball.
“At this point, I send certain messages because I know his phone’s getting blown up at this time,” DeAndre’ Bembry instructed The Publish. “So I attempt to give him his area, as a result of I do know he’s simply a type of people who wants his area generally to gather his ideas and his vitality and stuff. So for essentially the most half, I positively despatched him a pair messages over this time to simply check out him, be certain he’s good.
“I know he’s good, I know he’ll figure this out and get through it. But for the most part, like I said, I try to give him his space, because I know I know how this could be. I know a lot of his family’s calling him, friends, fans and all type of people; so try to give them a little bit of space with all of this that’s going on.”
Bembry is aware of Irving in addition to any Internet. Like Irving, he’s a product of St. Patrick Excessive in Elizabeth, N.J., and a protégé of coach Kevin Boyle.
These near Irving — from Bembry to Boyle to others that spoke with The Publish — merely expressed a need to be supportive, however to additionally give the 29-year-old guard his area.
“Exactly. That’s pretty it. If you know Ky, you know he loves his personal space,” Bembry instructed The Publish. “So being able to let him work through this, because obviously we all want him back, but it’s more so about his decisions right now and what he wants to do. So we can’t really can’t really do too much about it. We just pray for him and hope that he can come back.”
Many within the Nets group had anticipated Irving to have been vaccinated earlier than coaching camp began, and had been stunned he wasn’t. However to a person they’ve mentioned they may welcome him again with open arms when he turns into obtainable, whether or not that’s as a result of he will get vaccinated or the mandates loosen.
It’s unclear how the Omicron variant will change mandates. However what is evident is that the Nets are content material on giving Irving room.
“I stay in touch with Kyrie, but we don’t really talk about basketball,” coach Steve Nash mentioned not too long ago when requested by The Publish, “Just stay in touch and make sure everything is good with him.”
Joe Harris (ankle) and Nicolas Claxton (non-COVID sickness) had been out Saturday.
Dario Saric, Abdel Nader, and Frank Kaminsky had been out for the Suns.
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