Kyrie Irving has decided to step away from the Brooklyn Nets for "personal reasons." It's something he's done multiple times this season, and the most recent stint cost him three games. While we don't know what the issue is or why he's taking time off, Brandon Tierney told his Tiki and Tierney co-host he wasn't a big fan of Irving getting special treatment.
Most of all, it seemed like Tierney had an issue with Irving taking breaks from playing while still earning his full $33.5 million salary. He's not giving game checks back while he's away from the team and the team isn't fining him.
Here's what Tierney said:
Now it's fair to mention Tierney says he understands mental health and personal issues are bigger than basketball, but at some point he has to play. Irving has played in 38 of 53 games this season. Every day he misses without playing next to Kevin Durant and James Harden, is a day of chemistry building lost. The Nets will need to be on the same page in a postseason that is rapidly approaching.
Irving was ejected Saturday night and was not happy about it. He took to Twitter and seemed to imply Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroeder had used the N-word towards him:
Here's the interaction with Schroeder:
Soon after he decided to take time away for personal reasons. We don't know if the two things are connected at all, but it's odd timing.
Obviously the Nets have to accommodate their stars to some degree, but Irving's extended absences from the team may be hurting the team's championship viability. Hopefully, Irving and his family are OK and hopefully he can get back to playing basketball soon.