3:53 PM ET
Malika AndrewsESPN Staff Writer
- Staff Writer
- Joined ESPN in 2018
- Appears regularly on ESPN Chicago 1000
NEW YORK — Without divulging details on Kyrie Irving‘s nonattendance over the past five games, Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks said that it was disappointing to be without their All-Star guard but that Irving has assured him he’s looking forward to being back.
“Without a doubt, the organization is disappointed with not having any one of our players — in this particular case, Kyrie, not amongst us,” Marks said at a Thursday afternoon news conference.
“I know he’s excited about getting back on the court with his teammates as soon as possible,” Marks added.
Taking questions about Irving for the first time during the guard’s multigame absence, Marks said that Irving has been getting tested for coronavirus daily while he has been away from the team. Marks repeated that Irving will have to address the specifics of his absence directly and that he won’t speak on Irving’s behalf.
Irving has missed Brooklyn’s past five games for personal reasons. During that time, videos surfaced that showed Irving at what appeared to be a family birthday party. The NBA announced that it is investigating whether the behavior in the videos was a violation of its COVID-19 protocols.
The league’s health and safety rules prohibit players from going to bars, clubs and lounges or attending gatherings of 15 or more people.
The Nets made a blockbuster trade for Harden on Wednesday that Marks said was “completely separate” from Irving’s absence. Still, with a player option available to Irving and Durant this summer, adding Harden gives the team another All-Star.
Marks reiterated that the league’s findings will dictate whether Irving needs to quarantine and the timeline for his return. Marks added that “hopefully” the league will make a decision on Irving soon.
Irving is expected to miss Brooklyn’s next game against the Orlando Magic on Saturday. The Nets have gone 3-2 in his absence.