Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving has not suited up for his team for the past three games due to personal reasons. Meanwhile, he has drawn attention for a different reason. He reportedly attended a large family birthday gathering without wearing a mask.
Videos began circulating on social media this week that showed Irving seemingly at the birthday gathering. One clip seemingly showed Irving standing next to a family member blowing out candles on a cake. Both his father and his sister share birthdays this week. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA is expected to launch an investigation into the videos and whether Irving broke league protocols.
Videos have surfaced of Kyrie Irving at a large birthday gathering alongside his sister, Asia.
Kyrie’s sister & dad have birthdays this week.January 12, 2021
Irving missed the Nets' game against the 76ers last week for personal reasons. Head coach Steve Nash said that the reasons were unknown to him. "I don’t know. I just found out. I just sent him a message in the last half hour. I haven’t heard back yet," he told reporters an hour prior to tipoff.
The NBA player then missed his third game on Sunday night for "personal reasons," a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Nash once again faced questions about Irving's absence. He responded and said that he doesn't know when Irving will return to the lineup. However, Irving may have to enter mandatory quarantine based on the findings of the investigation.
"I won’t speak on Kyrie, I’ll let him do that for himself," teammate Kevin Durant said after the game. "We support him 100 percent and pray for the best." Nash also said that the reporters will hear from Irving "at some point."
One of Irving's former high school coaches, Chris Chavannes, the head coach at The Patrick School in Hillside, New Jersey, offered a potential cause for the player's absence. He said that the riot at the Capitol and the lack of charges in the Jacob Blake case might have played a role. "I have not spoken to Kyrie, but I can see him being genuinely upset and concerned about what took place this week in Washington and the decision of no charges of the police offer who shot the African-American [man] seven times," he told Forbes.