Kyrie Irving's extended absence from the Brooklyn Nets organization has caused many to wonder how committed he is to the franchise. The Nets say his absence is due to "personal reasons," but recent videos suggest otherwise.
On Monday, videos surfaced of Irving partying at a large gathering with his family. It was likely a party for Irving's sister, Asia, whose birthday is on Jan. 12, and his father, whose birthday is on Jan. 11.
Videos have surfaced of Kyrie Irving at a large birthday gathering alongside his sister, Asia.— Billy Reinhardt (@BillyReinhardt) January 12, 2021
Kyrie’s sister & dad have birthdays this week.
Given the size of the gathering & now public nature of it, Kyrie might now have to undergo a quarantine period before returning. https://t.co/McrYtFH9XK pic.twitter.com/U4T1KAvMTl
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews, the NBA is expected to investigate the videos of Irving partying maskless. The star point guard is not expected to return to the Nets' lineup this week.
Irving has missed four consecutive games for personal reasons, been ruled out tonight vs. Denver and sources expect him to continue to be sidelined at least through Wednesday (Knicks) and Saturday (Orlando) games. https://t.co/cPemTB0eHi— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 12, 2021
If he remains sidelined, Irving will miss games against the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks and Orlando Magic. When he's finally ready to return to the lineup, the 28-year-old will likely have to quarantine, which would delay his return to the court even further.
If he's found guilty of violating the NBA's health and safety protocols, he'll likely be fined.
Before the season began, Brooklyn was the favorite to win the Eastern Conference with a healthy Irving and Kevin Durant. So far, Irving's off-court antics have put a halt to the team's success.
At this point, it's unclear if the six-time All-Star even wants to keep playing this season. If he doesn't, it would be a huge loss for the Nets. Irving has been stellar in seven games this season, averaging 27.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game while shooting 50.4% from the field and 42.6% from deep.