Durant talks Kyrie potentially missing home playoff games

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The drama surrounding Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving not playing at Barclays Center because he is unvaccinated against COVID-19 continues to be an overpowering headline in the hoops world, especially because Irving has played very well when he is allowed to participate.

When asked what the playoffs would be like if Irving can’t play full time, teammate Kevin Durant admitted a big part of the winning formula would be missing.

“If [the vaccine mandate isn’t lifted], we’d be missing a huge piece of our team,” Durant said, via ESPN. “But we’ve still got to go out there and play the game. We’ve been saying that no matter who’s on the floor, you’ve still got to go out there and play and hoop. We’d love to have Kyrie out there, being out there, but if they aren’t, the rest of the guys just got to go play and live with the results. I think we’re all comfortable with that.”

Irving has impressed in the 19 games he has participated in, averaging 27.7 points, 5.3 assists, and 4.7 rebounds. Finding that success when allowed to play makes sitting out home games more frustrating, Durant said.

“He’s frustrated in not being able to play,” the 12-time All-Star said. “I’m sure he misses playing in front of a home crowd and the home crowd, vice versa, they miss him. So hopefully we get it figured out soon.”

Regardless of when Irving is allowed to play full time, Durant thinks Brooklyn’s window for making a deep playoff run will be open for years to come.

“I’m not guaranteeing that we got a championship [this year],” Durant said. “But I just like what we’re building. And I’m not going to say this is the only year we’ve got an opportunity to fight and work towards something. I don’t think next year we’ve got to start all the way over and try to figure out what’s the next iteration of the Nets. I feel like we can just build on what we have and see what happens. We got guys that are committed and want to be here.”



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