Amidst a 2-3 start to the season, the Nets have suffered double digit losses to Milwaukee, Charlotte and Miami that have been downright ugly.

Brooklyn can't hold its collective breath hoping Kyrie Irving walks through the doors at Barclays Center anytime soon, but the Nets championship hopes hinge on that exact scenario.

There's no sense in overreacting to merely five games in a 82 game season, but Brooklyn hasn't shown the makings of a team fit to finish atop the Eastern Conference. 

In fact, James Harden is still navigating his way in the new age of NBA officiating. Harden is accustomed to being rewarded with trips to the free throw line by initiating contact with defenders by way of unnatural shooting motion or unorthodox drives to the basket.

Kevin Durant has been Kevin Durant, but if last year's playoff showed anything, even the world's best player can't carry the weight of a franchise on his shoulders alone.

Irving has made the best decision for himself and for his family, but as for his Nets family and adoring fans, the point guard is leaving the team hanging.

The Nets can't count on Irving changing his stance on the vaccine, but anything short of him returning to the club via a change in mandates or change of heart and mind will leave Brooklyn searching for answers in his absence.

 



Sean Marks rarely speaks out of pocket, but this summer when he expected both Kyrie Irving and James Harden to accept contract extension offers before training camp, it had Nets fans giddy.

Brooklyn went to and from San Diego for training camp without so much as a deal. Harden said all the right things regarding his future with the Nets, but instead of putting pen to paper, the shooting guard wants to focus on his team's championship goals and enjoy the ride this season.

Harden has never truly been a free agent and stands to net a lucrative deal even if he remains with the Nets as he intends.

As for Irving, he was a no show during Nets Media day due to failing to meet vaccine requirements. The floor general joined via Zoom to shed light on his unvaccinated status which at the time of this article remains unchanged.

Irving was originally allowed to play in the team's road games and Brooklyn found a loophole to allow him to practice with the club at HSS Training facility since it was considered a private facility. 

After Marks, Steve Nash and Joe Tsai met to discuss Irving's situation, it was determined they would not allow a part-time player on the roster. Thus, Irving remains away from the team with reports that a trade or retirement could potentially be looming despite him rebuffing these claims.

Marks had several things out of control develop after he issued an encouraging declaration that the Nets big three would be signed, sealed and delivered by training camp.  The GM usually carefully measures his words regarding player contracts, injuries, and roster decisions, but Marks got caught counting his chicks before they hatched in this situation.




Kyrie Irving's vaccination status has been the focus on fans and media, but the Brooklyn Nets can't let this situation distract the team.

It's easier said than done as now Irving has left his teammates to answer questions for him as to when and if he may rejoin the team on a full-time basis.

Irving is no stranger to disappearing as he took a personal leave of absence, that was not excused by the team last season and has shown no signs he'll comply with local regulations in New York requiring anyone entering a public venue to prove they're vaccinated.

At the end of the day, it's Irving's decision to make, but the Nets have championship aspirations. Whether it's with him or without him, Brooklyn has unfinished business and getting caught up in the hoopla surrounding Irving is going to detract from the terrific roster Sean Marks has assembled and the likely prospect the Nets will be the title favorites.

As other cities impose similar regulations to New York City and Canada issuing strict orders for unvaccinated players from out of town, Irving may pay a steep price and will miss significant time if he continues down this course.

 



The Brooklyn Nets are the odds on favorites to win the 2022 NBA Finals, according to a recent survey of the league's general managers.

It shouldn't come as an overall shock with the overwhelming amount of talent showcased on Brooklyn's roster.



Kyrie Irving's availability and the team staying healthy appear to be the two major concerns heading into the season.

Littered with veteran talent from top to bottom,  the Nets earned the respect of front office executives and they'll soon have an opportunity to prove they're worthy of this distinction.


 


The Brooklyn Nets completed their training camp trip to San Diego and will return to Brooklyn for practice on Tuesday. If Kyrie Irving is among the participants, which at this point appears unlikely, Nets fans would get the answer they were hoping for that the team's point guard indeed complies with local vaccine requirements in New York. 

The more likely scenario is that Irving will not participate with the rest of his teammates for the opening of home practices on Tuesday at HSS Center in Brooklyn. 

A recent ESPN report suggested that nearly 95 percent of all NBA players are vaccinated, but the outliers in big names Bradley Beal, Andrew Wiggins and Irving are still not part of that group. 

Brooklyn is two weeks away from opening night in Milwaukee, for which Irving would be eligible to play, but with limited practice time with his new teammates outside of Kevin Durant and James Harden. 

The Nets  quest for a title starts with the team that ousted them out of the playoffs last season as the Bucks will receive their championship rings on NBA's Opening Night, October 19th. 

Irving's vaccine status and lack of contract extensions for both him and Harden remain the talking point of the national media.  Instead, the main focus and storylines should center on the team trying to reach its a first NBA Finals in 19 years and capturing the franchise's first ever Larry O'Brien Trophy. 

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