Kyrie Irving’s inaugural Brooklyn Nets season has come to an end. The crafty point guard will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery the team’s general manager, Sean Marks, announced last night (Feb.20) to reporters.
The decision was made after Irving “last few days visiting with a specialist.” specialist Marks disclosed. “He’s obviously upset about this,” Marks went on to add. “We’re here to support him, support the process, moving forward with him.” Irving was one of the Nets significant free-agent acquisitions alongside Kevin Durant. He was supposed to hold down the fort until KD returned from his Achilles injury he suffered while he was a member of the Golden State Warriors.
Instead, Irving’s season was marred by injury, with him missing much of the 2019-20 season due to problems with his shoulder and knee. Kyrie was limited to only 20 games, but when he was on the court, he was one of the leagues most productive players averaging 24.7 points per game on a very efficient 59.5 true shooting percentage while dishing out 6.4 assists a game.
It’s no question that Irving’s injury is a massive disappointment to the team, but Marks states that the star point guard’s long-term health is the team’s “No. 1 priority.”
“We’re looking at the big picture here. We’re not looking at the next two, three months. We’re looking at the next two, three years.”
Irving did try to play through the pain, and in mid-January, he did receive a cortisone shot in his problematic shoulder to avoid going under the knife. He surprised many by coming back in January after missing time due to the right shoulder injury he suffered during a matchup with the Denver Nuggets.
While fighting through the pain, Kyrie played very well, during a game against the Atlanta Hawks he scored 21 points in just 20 minutes. Irving put on a spirited performance in honor of his mentor and good friend Kobe Bryant, exploding for 54 points on 23 shot attempts. A very Kobe-ish performance honestly.
Irving is expected to be ready when the 2020-21 season begins. Until then, the Brooklyn Nets breakout star, Spencer Dinwiddie, will have to pick up the slack in Kyrie’s absence. It’s nothing new to him either, he averaged 24.8 points and 7.2 assists during that stretch of games.
Photo: Paul Bereswill / Getty
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