NEW YORK — When Kyrie Irving’s commerce request was reported on Friday, Brooklyn Nets middle Nic Claxton’s telephone began going loopy.
“I used to be taking a nap,” Claxton stated. “And I regarded in certainly one of my group chats and I noticed it and I used to be like, ‘Wow.’ Just caught me off guard. But it’s what it’s.”
Nets wing Royce O’Neale stated he was “shocked” by Irving’s commerce request, including that he came upon the “similar method everyone else did: Twitter.”
“We’re similar to everyone else,” Claxton stated. “We’re caught off guard.”
Irving’s future in Brooklyn is unsure. The Nets have three video games earlier than Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET commerce deadline, beginning with Saturday’s matchup in opposition to the Washington Wizards. Irving “reported some calf soreness,” coach Jacque Vaughn stated, so he’ll miss the Wizards recreation. Claxton stated he realized that Irving can be out of the lineup “after I bought right here.”
Vaughn stated he wasn’t certain whether or not or not Irving can be at Barclays Center on Saturday. The coach didn’t say whether or not or not he expects Irving to be in uniform when the Nets host the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday and the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.
“I’m simply going to be involved about tonight,” Vaughn stated.
Asked if Irving had straight advised Vaughn that he desires a commerce or defined his rationale, Vaughn stated: “I did not ask these questions. There’s a enterprise aspect to this factor and there is a human aspect to this factor. I elected to the touch on the human aspect, test on him as a person. I’ll go away the enterprise aspect to [team president] Sean [Marks] and that group.”
Claxton stated that he communicated with Irving after the information — “he hit me, simply checking in” — and isn’t judging Irving for asking out.
“I at all times respect his resolution, no matter which may be,” Claxton stated. “That’s my brother. And we simply gotta roll with who’s right here.”
As for whether or not or not Irving would possibly change his thoughts, Claxton stated: “I do not know. I imply, no concept. I simply work right here, on the finish of the day. I simply need to come out right here and beat Washington and have enjoyable in entrance of our followers.”
O’Neale, who additionally texted with Irving on Friday, supplied no extra readability on the topic: “We did not get that far. It was only a textual content after which a reply after which that was it.”
Around this time final season, a disgruntled James Harden needed out and Brooklyn traded him to the Philadelphia 76ers. In the offseason, Kevin Durant requested out and the Nets didn’t commerce him. Brooklyn parted methods with coach Steve Nash seven video games into this season, and three days later suspended Irving throughout an antisemitism scandal. After all of that, on Jan. 9, the Nets had received 18 of 20 video games and owned the NBA’s second-best document. Durant has not performed since then due to a sprained MCL, however they’re nonetheless 31-20 and fourth within the East.
“I’m hoping we have constructed up sufficient psychological resolve,” Vaughn stated. “That’s form of been the duty going alongside this factor.”
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Ever the optimist, Vaughn stated he hopes that Irving’s commerce request “lifts the group up and that they will pull collectively.” He spoke to each member of the group individually on Friday, and he stated he desires all of them to “play with a free thoughts” and concentrate on what’s in entrance of them.
“I stated to them, ‘We’re not going to make this bizarre; we’re right here to play. we’re right here to do a job, present up and do your job,'” Vaughn stated. “I stated, ‘You’ve carried out this. First step of this factor is we’re right here, we’re displaying up.'”
Asked if he feels Irving is letting the group down, Vaughn stated he’s “not going to take a position on what they suppose.” Asked once more what he personally thinks, Vaughn stated: “I feel you’ve a duty as a basketball participant, like I do as a coach. I present up, I do my job each single day. That’s what I signed up for, and that is my expectations for 1 by way of 17.”
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