Kyrie Irving has been absent from the Brooklyn Nets for the past three games. Now the NBA is looking into videos of him out partying, maskless, during the absence.
Kyrie Irving hasn’t played for the Brooklyn Nets since Jan. 5, missing the last four games for personal reasons that have, as yet, not been reported. During that time, his teammates and coaches have shown support, particularly Kevin Durant who made a strong statement to the media this weekend.
Now videos have begun to trickle out showing Irving maskless, celebrating at his sister’s birthday party. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA is investigating the videos which, if taken at face value, would violate the league’s COVID guidelines prohibiting players from entering clubs or bars or joining gatherings of 15 people or more.
The likely punishment if the league finds a violation would be a hefty fine, and additional quarantine to prevent the spread of any possible exposure. Earlier this year, James Harden was fined $50,000 and forced into a four-day quarantine after video emerged of him partying maskless.
When will Kyrie Irving rejoin the Brooklyn Nets?
Wojnarowski’s reporting has indicated that the Nets don’t expect Irving to rejoin the team this week, although it’s not clear if that’s because of an impending quarantine or because the personal issues that caused his absence are still unresolved. The Nets have games against the Nuggets, Knicks and Magic this week. If his absence stretches into next week, he could miss games against the Bucks, a two-game set against the Cavaliers and then the first half of a two-game set against the Miami Heat.
The Nets have lost the last two games of Irving’s absence, to the Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder. Brooklyn is currently 5-6 and just outside the playoff picture, trailing the Heat and Hawks by a half-game.