VIDEO surfaced of Brooklyn Nets star guard Kyrie Irving at a family birthday party without a mask, and the NBA reportedly is investigating the time and location of the event with the likelihood of discipline to follow.
An NBA official reached by Field Level Media declined comment.
Irving missed Tuesday’s (Wednesday in Manila) game against the Denver Nuggets, the fourth in a row he skipped due to personal reasons. He hasn’t played since the insurrection at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., last Wednesday.
The Nets are 1-2 without Irving heading into the game versus Denver.
“We are aware of a video on social media featuring Kyrie Irving at a family gathering,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a statement. “We are reviewing the circumstances with both Kyrie and the NBA in order to determine compliance with health and safety protocols.
“Kyrie remains away from the team due to personal reasons. A date of his return has yet to be finalized. . . Kyrie will have the opportunity to address his absence when he is ready to do so.”
ESPN and The Athletic reported Irving likely would not be allowed to play until next week, meaning his availability is doubtful for games Wednesday at the New York Knicks and Saturday against the visiting Orlando Magic.
Tuesday’s game will be the Nets’ 84th game since they signed Irving as a free agent in 2019. He has played in just 27 of those contests.
Irving underwent shoulder surgery last March and did not return for the team’s postseason games in the NBA bubble near Orlando.
He is considered healthy, but coach Steve Nash has indicated multiple times that Irving is not communicating with the team.
Nash declined to expand on Marks’ statement when he met with reporters prior to Tuesday’s game. He answered “sure” when asked if he was confident Irving will return to the team at some point this season.