11:38 A.M. (EASTERN TIME).
- Malika Andrews
- Joining ESPN in 2018
- Appears regularly on ESPN Chicago 1000
- Adrian Wojnarowski
Senior NBA Insider
- Master Howl Under
- With ESPN since 2017
As the NBA investigates the video circulating on social media of Kyrie Irving without a mask on what appears to be a family birthday, it is not certain that the Brooklyn Nets guard will return to the offensive line this week, sources told ESPN.
Irving has already been sent off for a fourth straight game Tuesday night against Denver, and sources say he will miss at least Wednesday’s game against New York and Saturday’s against Orlando. His absence is due to personal reasons.
In the clips, which have been circulating since Monday night, a smiling Irving dances with his sister Asia on the confetti-covered floor, clapping his hands as she blows out the candles. If the video was recently discovered, this behavior may be a violation of league protocols against coronaviruses.
The rules of COVID 19 prohibit players from visiting clubs, bars and lounges. They also prohibit players from participating in social gatherings of more than 15 people.
We are aware of a social media video showing Kyrie Irving at a family reunion, Nets CEO Sean Marks said Tuesday in a statement. We are reviewing the circumstances with Kyrie and the NBA to determine if health and safety protocols are being followed.
Mr. Kyrie will have the opportunity to remedy his absence when he is ready, Mr. Marks added.
Nets coach Steve Nash said during Tuesday’s pre-game presentation that he had not seen the video and did not want to discuss Marks’ statement.
When asked if he was confident Irving would return at some point this season, Nash said yes: Yes, of course.
On Tuesday night, Irving attended a virtual fundraiser for Manhattan’s candidate for district attorney, Tahani Abushi. Abusi shared a photo of the event, which started at 7 p.m. AND, on social media. The photo appears to show Irving in one of the video boxes. Thirty minutes into the fundraiser, the network reported the attack on the Barclays Center in Denver.
The investigation into Irving’s video recordings of the family vacation comes during a tumultuous week when the league is reviewing its coronavirus safety and health rules. The league postponed three games this week due to positive COVID-19 tests and the implementation of quarantines on contact strips.
The NBA, in conjunction with the NBPA, announced stricter protocols Tuesday regarding the coronavirus, including additional travel restrictions for players and staff.
The NBA investigated more health and safety violations this season. In December, BlackSportsOnline released a video of James Harden allegedly partying, unmasked, at a Christmas party at a club in Houston. After an investigation, the league fined the Houston Rockets star $50,000. He also had to spend four days in quarantine and returned with a negative daily COVID-19 test.
Harden has never missed a game.
If a player misses a game due to a VIDOC-19 violation, he will lose 1/72% of his salary per league rule.