Kyrie Irving is back with the Brooklyn Nets and speaking to the media for the first time.
In case you haven’t heard, Kyrie Irving is back. The Brooklyn Nets are welcoming Irving back into the fold after telling him to stay away before the season. It’s well-documented at this point that Irving can only play in road games due to New York City’s vaccination mandate.
Irving spoke to the media for the first time since Nets Media Day, discussing his return to the team. One moment that stuck out was Irving talking about Brooklyn’s championship window.
“We want to strike while the iron is hot,” Irving said per Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News.
Obviously, the Nets are talented enough to win a championship this year, but their chances are greatly diminished if Irving is only eligible for away games. Even with a part-time Irving, the Nets are the favorite to win it all, but they were favored to win it all last year too.
How is it going to look when Irving has to miss a Game 7 because the game is in Barclays Center? This is the elephant in the room.
With all that said, there is a lot of time between now and the playoffs. Nets fans are going to be happy to see Irving on the floor in any capacity and Brooklyn can cross that playoff bridge when they come to it.
In the meantime, Irving seems focused and relaxed, but most of all eager to start playing again. The All-NBA guard says there is no bad blood after his early absence.
When Will Kyrie Irving Return?
A few weeks ago, this was a question without an answer.
Now, we have a clearer picture of when Irving might make his debut. He didn’t lie to the media about the ramp-up process. He wants to come back as soon as possible, but he understands the need to ramp up his conditioning.
Kyrie Irving on when he’ll play: “I’m at peace with the ramp up but I can’t sugarcoat it — I’m just looking forward to that first game, whether it be the 5th or some time after that.”
Kyrie said he wants to get back into optimal shape.
— Kristian Winfield #NFTAllStar (@Krisplashed) December 29, 2021
Nets coach Steve Nash wouldn’t give specifics on when Irving will come back, but he left open the possibility for a debut on Jan. 5, Brooklyn’s next road game.
“I don’t think it’s smart to rush him into games,” Nash said per Winfield. “There’s only 50 games left. It’s when he’s ready. If he’s ready for Indiana, great. If he’s not, we push it to the next one.”
Five of their next six games are at home, but there is a big stretch of road games coming up in late January and February.
Seven of Brooklyn's next nine games are at home. After that, they will be on the road for 17 of their next 23 games.
Obviously, this is a tweet about Kyrie Irving.
— Danny Small (@dwsmall8) December 29, 2021