The star player’s absence will continue as the NBA looks into footage that shows Irving at a celebration where people were not wearing masks.
Earlier this week, rumors began to fly around about Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving’s absence from the team’s past three games of the season due to “personal reasons.” Some NBA insiders reported Irving was partying with Drake in Toronto, but those rumors proved to be false when it was later reported that the 28-year-old point guard was actually in New Jersey celebrating his father and sister’s birthdays.
According to ESPN’s Malika Andrews and Adrian Wojnarowski, the league plans to “review videos circulating on social media of a maskless Irving at what appears to be a family birthday party.”
The video in question features Irving attending his sister’s maskless celebration, and if found to be recent could serve as evidence for violating the current COVID-19 protocol, which forbids player’s from attending any social gatherings of more than 15 people. Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a statement on Tuesday, “We are aware of a video on social media featuring Kyrie Irving at a family gathering. We are reviewing the circumstances with both Kyrie and the NBA in order to determine compliance with health and safety protocols.”
As the Nets faced Denver on Tuesday night, the point guard sat out of his fourth game due to “personal reasons” and has not played since January 5th. He is now anticipated to miss Wednesday’s game against the Knicks and Saturday’s against the Magic as the NBA investigates.
Similar to the situation with James Harden at the beginning of the season, the league intends to investigate the matter internally before determining if he needs to quarantine further. Harden was forced to submit four negative COVID-19 tests before returning to the court. Hopefully, things go smoothly and Irving can get back to the court soon as well.