The one and only Stephen A. Smith is disgusted with the Brooklyn Nets. The franchise is bringing back Kyrie Irving as a part-time player for games outside of New York and Toronto, and Smith thinks it’s a disgraceful move.
Irving, who has been unwilling to satisfy New York City mandates and become vaccinated to play in home games, will be eligible to play in select road games once he is able to pass a series of COVID-19 tests and get back into game shape. Smith, who never minces his words, believes the Nets are making a shameful decision.
Stephen A. Smith on Nets allowing Kyrie Irving to play road games: “It’s egregious and disgusting”
Smith said on First Take that the Nets are making an awful decision by allowing Irving to be a part-time player. The veteran ESPN pundit, who has tested positive for COVID-19, thinks the Brooklyn organization should be ashamed.
“I think it’s a horrible move,” Smith said. “I think it’s a disgraceful move. I think that Nets ownership is incredibly disappointing, and I think that the league should intervene. … To watch the Brooklyn Nets reverse course and take this position is one of the most shameful things I think they could have ever done.”
In October, the Nets made a collaborative decision not to have Irving be a part-time player. However, they have changed their stance since half of their roster is either injured or has been placed in health and safety protocols.
Nets reveal why they changed their mind on Kyrie Irving
In a statement, Nets general manager Sean Marks said the organization changed its mind about Irving “due to injuries and health and safety protocols.” Both James Harden and Kevin Durant are in health and safety protocols.
“We arrived at this decision with the full support of our players and after careful consideration of our current circumstances, including players missing games due to injuries and health and safety protocols,” Marks said. “We believe that the addition of Kyrie will not only make us a better team but allow us to more optimally balance the physical demand on the entire roster. We look forward to Kyrie’s return to the lineup, as well as getting our entire roster back together on the court.”
Irving isn’t expected to play in the near future. The one-time champion has already entered health and safety protocols. As an unvaccinated player, Irving will have to produce five consecutive days of negative tests before he can re-join the team.
The Nets look really desperate. NBA players are testing positive for COVID-19 left and right, and Brooklyn is bringing an unvaccinated player into its locker room who can only play on the road. As a result, Smith isn’t the only one who is frustrated with the Nets. Former NBA sharpshooter Tim Legler, who works with Stephen A., is in the same boat.
Tim Legler agrees with Stephen A. Smith
Legler, who is eighth in NBA history in 3-point shooting percentage, is entirely against the Nets bringing back Irving. The ESPN analyst doesn’t respect how Brooklyn changed its mind on Irving just because the team is dealing with adversity.
“To reverse course on that and compromise everything that team sports are about in terms of everybody being in the same direction and pulling in the same direction to me, it’s really grotesque that you would do it now just because you find yourself in some difficult circumstances with regard to your roster,” Legler said on First Take. “It’s really disappointing that Sean Marks, Steve Nash, and the organization would now reverse course when nothing has changed with regard to Kyrie Irving. Their circumstances have changed, so now their principles have changed as well.”
New York City’s mandate allows Irving to practice at home. However, the All-Star will be in and out of the lineup, making it difficult for the Nets to establish chemistry.
It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out. Since he’s really talented, Irving will probably light it up in the road games he plays. However, he won’t be able to help the Nets at home, and that could prevent Brooklyn from winning it all once the playoffs start.