Kyrie Irving is currently day-to-day with a facial fracture after taking an elbow to the face in a Brooklyn Nets pickup game.
Irving took an elbow on Tuesday and head coach Kenny Atkinson accompanied his star point guard to the hospital. Understandably, Atkinson missed a scheduled press conference. General manager Sean Marks—who was scheduled to speak alongside Atkinson—still answered questions from the media.
This isn’t time for Nets fans to panic, but it’s impossible to fault fans who may have had a visceral reaction to an injury report concerning Irving.
The All-NBA point guard will be the focal point of Brooklyn’s offense while Kevin Durant rehabs from his ruptured Achilles. On Tuesday, Marks set the record straight on Durant’s recovery. The GM told reporters that there is no expectation for Durant to return this season.
That means Irving will shoulder the load as Brooklyn’s only true star on the roster. The Nets have a collection of solid role players and a potential blossoming star in Caris LeVert. But make no mistake, the 2019-20 Brooklyn Nets are only going as far as Irving takes them.
On the bright side for Nets fans, this could mean “Masked Kyrie” makes an early appearance in Brooklyn. Irving has donned the facial protection mask that many NBA players have worn over the years.
In fact, Irving once wore the mask in the Barclays Center in November of 2017. He scored 25 points with three rebounds and five assists.