All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving is set to miss his second game for the Brooklyn Nets because of personal reasons, according to reports on Friday.
Irving did not play in Brooklyn’s 122-109 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.
ESPN’s Malika Andrews and Adrian Wojnarowski reported after Thursday’s game that the guard would not travel with the Nets to Memphis for Friday night’s matchup against the Grizzlies.
Brooklyn said on Thursday night that Irving missed that game for personal reasons and Wojnarowski reported on Friday that the player would miss the second game for personal reasons as well.
Brooklyn’s head coach Steve Nash refused to comment on Irving’s absence and rubbished suggestions that the player didn’t want to play.
“I haven’t spoken to him yet. I can’t really comment because I haven’t spoken to him and it’s personal reasons so it’d have to come from Kyrie, but I don’t believe that to be the case,” Nash said.
With Irving out again, it is likely Caris LeVert will continue to take on the primary role as the ball handler for Brooklyn.
LeVert stepped into the starting role on Thursday and finished with 22 points to go with 10 assists, seven rebounds, and two steals in 32 minutes in the victory over Philadelphia.
He was very impressive in the first half after attempting 15 shots in that period alone and made seven of them to total 18 points at halftime. LeVert went cold following the interval, after shooting just 2-for-10 from the field, but he is expected to shake that off and be ready for the Memphis clash.
Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets will also be without superstar forward Kevin Durant, who will continue to quarantine because of NBA’s health and safety protocols.
Durant will miss his third consecutive game after he was exposed to someone with COVID-19 and must isolate from the rest of the group.
He could return on Sunday against his former team the Oklahoma City Thunder if he continues to test negative for the coronavirus, Nash said.