Kyrie Irving practices with Nets, addresses absence: 'I knew the penalties. I wasn't organized for them' - CBS sports

For the first time on the grounds that his virtual look at media day three months in the past, Kyrie Irving spoke to journalists on Wednesday. After working towards with the Brooklyn Nets, Irving -- still unvaccinated in opposition t COVID-19 and as a consequence ineligible to play in domestic video games (or highway video games in opposition t the new york Knicks and Toronto Raptors) -- time and again instructed journalists that he is grateful to be again. 

Irving cleared fitness and protection protocols on Tuesday. almost immediately after Irving's media availability, Mark Levine, a brand new York metropolis councilman who chairs the council's health committee, tweeted that there were a listing 39,591 new COVID situations in the city on Wednesday, and 770 new hospitalizations. 

"no longer going to lie, it's been incredibly difficult to watch from the sideline, with every thing happening on earth," Irving pointed out. "i do know every person's feeling it, so, simply praying for all and sundry to be suit right through these times. but if I get the opportunity to get on the courtroom and play with a few of my teammates, and although or not it's simply on the street for away video games, i am just grateful for that possibility."

prior this month, the Nets reversed course on their choice to no longer let Irving be lower than a full participant within the 2020-21 season. Brooklyn has recently had as many as 10 avid gamers sidelined because of health and security protocols, and three of its video games had been postponed. during this context, the company decided it could use a part-time All-big name. 

"I understood their (initial) determination and i respected it," Irving talked about. "I really needed to sit down again and think and check out to no longer develop into too emotionally attached to what they were determining to do. I had to sit down and basically evaluate things and notice it from their standpoint, meaning the corporation and my teammates."

Irving stated that teammates Kevin Durant and James Harden had "always been supportive," and that he had stayed match in part by using playing pickup games in core school gyms and college gyms. He observed he had tried to live "linked with the group" during the season. 

"I knew the consequences," Irving observed. "I wasn't organized for them, via no stretch of imagination."

in keeping with Irving, when the Nets told him they wanted him back, he did not hesitate: "I talked about, 'absolutely.' This has always where I are looking to be. I've desired to be playing with the group in whatever capability i will be able to do this."

Brooklyn coach Steve Nash informed newshounds that Irving "looks outstanding, on the grounds that he just got here out of protocols and hasn't played basketball." Irving mentioned he had overlooked the knowledgeable ambiance, and that "it became like riding a motorbike or being at your first day of faculty once more." There might be a ramp-up duration, however, earlier than he can make his season debut. 

Now that his first typical-season follow is over, Irving stated that it's "time to turn the page" and focus on winning a championship. 

"I do not want to make it too plenty about me or what's occurring for the time that i have been away," he stated. "i'm simply focused on placing the top-rated foot ahead for the group and just being purchasable."

Being utterly available, though, will proceed to be unimaginable, except Irving gets vaccinated or the metropolis loosens its regulations. as soon as he is in situation to play, his return will need to wait unless the Nets are on the road. subsequent Wednesday, Jan. 5, they're going to discuss with the Indiana Pacers, after which they may be again at home unless they visit the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 12. Their next multi-game street trip runs from Jan. 17 to Jan. 23 and may see them seek advice from Cleveland, Washington, San Antonio and Minnesota. 

Irving pointed out that the team would "rely heavily on our teaching staff" when it comes to managing diverse rosters at home and on the road. He introduced that the Nets have "very excessive IQs," and that "my job obtainable is only to make the video game simpler, no matter if that be aspect take care of, capturing protect, filling in for 15 minutes off the bench, 20 minutes." it will "take some patience," he added, for the group to modify to the "new circumstance."

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