The Brooklyn Nets are already dealing with a minor injury three days before the start of training camp.
Kyrie Irving, who took an elbow to the face during a pickup basketball game on Tuesday, is day-to-day with a left side facial fracture, as confirmed by the team and first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic.
UPDATE: Kyrie Irving has been diagnosed with a left side facial fracture, which he sustained yesterday during workouts. He is currently listed as day to day.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) September 25, 2019
Irving took an errant elbow during a casual pickup game and could now miss some time. It’s not the start to the season the Nets were hoping for at all, even if it turns out to be a brief absence. Facial fractures are no minor thing, and it’s an open question as to how he’ll progress and whether he may need to be fitted for a mask.
There’s little evidence that he won’t be ready for the start of the regular season, though. That’s good news, because he can help troll the Knicks a little on his giveaway night.
- Kyrie Irving
The Brooklyn Nets appear to be stoking the flames of their crosstown rivalry with the New York Knicks.
Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reported on Saturday that the Nets will be giving away 10,000 Kyrie Irving jerseys when they host the Knicks on Oct. 25, the first meeting of the season between the two teams.
The All-NBA guard Irving, who signed a four-year deal with the Nets in July, had been a top target for the Knicks, both as a free agent and even dating back to when he requested a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017.
The Nets-Knicks rivalry has definitely been gaining steam in recent months, and it’s hard to see the timing of this giveaway as a case of mere coincidence.
Carmelo Anthony wants to play basketball next season and is committed to showing teams he still has something to offer. One of the potential suitors that could make sense for him is the Brooklyn Nets, and their two most important players are apparently on board with signing the 10-time All-Star.
Frank Isola of The Athletic reports that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have been “pushing” the Nets to sign Anthony. Carmelo recently trained with a group of Nets players in Los Angeles, and general manager Sean Marks got a closer look at him during an informal workout. It’s unclear if Marks wants to sign Anthony, but there are a few reasons he could be persuaded.
For starters, Durant is not going to play at all in his first season in Brooklyn. That opens up a spot on the roster for another scorer, and the 35-year-old Anthony is confident he can still find ways to put the ball in the hoop. Another thing working in Carmelo’s favor is that the NBA announced on Thursday that Nets forward Wilson Chandler has been suspended 25 games for testing positive for a banned substance.
Anthony’s recent workouts in LA are said to have gone well, as one Nets source told Isola that he “certainly helped his cause” and “his body looked great.”
While Marks will have the final say with regard to Anthony, having an endorsement from both Irving and Durant is obviously significant. Carmelo insists he is still playing at a high enough level to contribute and recently accused the Rockets of cutting ties with him for non-basketball reasons. He’s also a Brooklyn native, so the Nets may be his best chance at a last chance.
Enes Kanter was formally introduced as a member of the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, and he immediately endeared himself to the fan base with a hilarious zinger he took at Kyrie Irving.
While speaking with reporters during his introductory press conference, Kanter was asked why he chose to wear jersey No. 11 with the Celtics. He said that is his old jersey number, plus he wants to be the reason no one else will ever wear it in Boston.
Enes Kanter on why he chose #11 pic.twitter.com/Nfp1kGY6Aj
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) July 17, 2019
As you probably know, Irving said the same thing in his introductory presser with the Celtics. He then spent two seasons with the team and managed to rub a whole bunch of people the wrong way before bolting in free agency.
Kanter may not improve Boston’s interior defense, but perhaps he can make up for his defensive inefficiencies with a great sense of humor and more shots at Irving. Celtics fans would love that.
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Kyrie Irving is no longer a Boston Celtic, and one of his former teammates seems to be enjoying that fact.
New Celtics big man Enes Kanter posted a picture to Instagram on Friday of several of the team’s fans clowning their former guard by taking Irving’s old jersey and covering his name with a piece of tape that read “Kanter” instead. Celtics wing Jaylen Brown then proceeded to ‘like’ Kanter’s post.
Enes Kanter posted a picture of Celtics fans covering the Irving on Kyrie's jersey with Kanter and Jaylen Brown liked the picture pic.twitter.com/nAZUwTBdtA
— Heart of NBA (@HeartofNBA) July 13, 2019
While this merely could have been a case of Brown being amused by the antics of Boston’s fans, he and Irving did not exactly have the greatest relationship during their two seasons together. For one, Brown called out Uncle Drew for finger-pointing during their struggles in January and also had to sacrifice the shot attempts that opened up when Irving was injured in the 2018 postseason.
With the six-time All-Star signing with the Atlantic Division rival Brooklyn Nets this summer, you can bet that both sides are going to be circling their first matchup on the calendar next season.
Kawhi Leonard certainly tried everything he could to being the league’s top free agents with him to his ultimate destination.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported Monday that, in addition to his successful efforts to recruit Paul George and an unsuccessful bid to recruit Kevin Durant, Leonard tried to talk guard Kyrie Irving into playing on the same team with him.
We already knew that Leonard called Durant and tried to convince him to join him on the Los Angeles Clippers. By that point, however, Durant had settled on going to the Brooklyn Nets with Irving and ultimately turned down Leonard’s overtures. While the timing is unclear, it’s fair to think that Leonard probably got a similar response from Irving, considering the two newest Nets were apparently plotting their move to Brooklyn long before it officially happened.
Nobody could accuse Leonard of lacking ambition. He was undeterred after swinging and missing twice, and ultimately connected when he got a hold of George. He only needed to win over one superstar to join him in Los Angeles, and it appears that the third time was the charm.
Bobby Portis was one of the players the New York Knicks signed after they missed out on superstar free agents Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, and the former first-round pick says his new team should have known it would have plenty of extra money to spend this summer.
Portis signed a two-year, $31 million deal with the Knicks not long after free agency began. The Knicks showed interest in him early on, and he knew they would have the cap space to sign him. Why? According to the 6-foot-11 forward, it was the worst-kept secret in the NBA that Durant and Irving were heading to Brooklyn.
“I knew what was gonna happen in February,” Portis said, via Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. “We all knew that (Durant and Kyrie Irving would go to Brooklyn). Everybody knew that. I just don’t think the media knew that. Us basketball players, we all knew that.”
Portis said he is not going to reveal his source but added “we all know where they were going.”
Players around the NBA talk, and it was probably quite obvious that Durant and Irving were committed to playing together. One player who is better than Kyrie even tried to recruit Durant and had no luck, so that says a lot. Irving also seemed 100 percent committed to the Nets from the start. Put all of that together and you have two guys who are headed to Brooklyn.