The Brooklyn Nets did their best Miami Heat impression and formed a new “Big 3” by acquiring Rockets star James Harden earlier this week. The 31-year-old guard will join Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving as one of the most formidable teams on paper in the Eastern Conference.
Nets head coach Steve Nash spoke with reporters on Friday in Harden’s official introductory press conference and confirmed that his newest superstar passed his physical with the team and will take the court as soon as possible. As of right now, the plan would be to plug Harden into the starting line-up immediately.
However, Nash proved unable to provide an update on Irving. The former No. 1 pick hasn’t been with the team this past week, citing personal reasons for his absence. As a result, the Nets head coach candidly confessed that he’s unaware of when Irving will re-join the team and be ready to play.
“Whenever James Harden is ready he will start immediately. I have no update on a Kyrie timetable,” Nash said on Friday per CBS Sports.
"Whenever James Harden is ready he will start immediately. I have no update on a Kyrie timetable."
Coach Steve Nash on the Nets new Big 3. pic.twitter.com/z7ASpI00nw
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) January 15, 2021
This isn’t the first time that Steve Nash hasn’t been in the know about Irving’s movements. The first-year Brooklyn Nets coach found about his star point guard’s absence from the Jan. 7 game against the 76ers just a few hours before the tip-off.
Present or not, the NBA decided to come down hard on Irving for his week-long break for games. During that time, the 28-year-old was spotted on film at a family member’s birthday, without a mask and indoors. The league decided to fine him $50,000 earlier on Friday, in addition to the substantial $816,898 in salary that Irving lost for missing the Nets last two games.
To be blunt, Brooklyn won’t be able to reach their full potential on the court without Kyrie Irving. The six-time All Star averaged over 27 points per game in his seven starts in 2020 before leaving the team. Consistently regarded as a top-25 player in the league, Irving remains one of the most talented scorers in the NBA.
Both Harden and Durant can make a claim at being the best offensive players in the league as well, which should prove interesting when all three are able to be on a court together. If the Nets are able to develop any sort of chemistry, the Eastern Conference should be Brooklyn’s for the taking.