UPDATE: The Nets have finally responded to the recent absence of Kyrie Irving and the video that appears to show him maskless at a birthday party. In a statement, general manager Sean Marks said that the video is being reviewed by the team, but made sure to stress that Irving will be the one who addresses the public about why he has been away.
Nets GM Sean Marks statement on Kyrie Irving pic.twitter.com/TBTjF9QGRr
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 12, 2021
RECENT: Kyrie Irving has not played in the Nets last three games, as he has been listed as out, first for “personal reasons” and recently the wording has shifted to him being on “personal leave.” Steve Nash has declined to offer anything in the way of specifics surrounding the reasoning for Irving’s absence, noting that he would leave all conversations between the star point guard and the team private, but the shift in wording seems to indicate an agreement between the two sides has been reached.
Late Monday night, video of Irving at a birthday party for his sister, Asia, began making the rounds on social media and naturally became a hot topic of conversation, as it appeared to be a relatively large gathering with no one appearing to be wearing masks. On Tuesday morning, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews reported that the league was going to begin an investigation into the video as well as reporting that Irving wasn’t expected to return to the Nets for at least three more games, as he is out tonight and is likely to miss Wednesday and Saturday’s action as well.
Sources with @Malika_Andrews: As the NBA is expected to begin examining online videos circulating of a maskless Kyrie Irving at a family birthday party, there’s no belief that he will return to the Brooklyn Nets lineup this week.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 12, 2021
On top of a continued absence, it’s very possible that Irving will have to enter a quarantine period once he returns to the team, which could extend his absence for another full week. As for the investigation, NBA Twitter sleuth Worldwide Wob dove into the particulars of the Irving soiree.
Wobvestigation: the facts surrounding the leaked Kyrie Irving video pic.twitter.com/ZSH5MeshHx
— Sherwob Holmes (@WorldWideWob) January 12, 2021
It certainly seems like this was indeed a recent video from this weekend and as we learned with James Harden, it’s very possible that, even on personal leave, if the league deems Irving broke COVID-19 protocols he could face a $50,000 fine as well as a quarantine period. The optics of him being at a party while away from the team aren’t the best, but given it’s a family birthday party it’s not exactly the same as him galavanting around town.