New York Notes: Durant, Irving, Toppin, Gibson

Star forward Kevin Durant has yet to play both halves of a back-to-back set this season, as the Nets have made an effort to ease him back into the regular season schedule following his year-long absence due to an Achilles tear.

However, after leading the team to a comeback victory over Denver on Tuesday night, Durant is prepared to play the Knicks in New York tonight, as Brian Lewis of The New York Post details.

“I plan on it,” he said.

As of Tuesday night, head coach Steve Nash wasn’t ready to fully commit to having Durant available on Wednesday, cautioning that the Nets have to “judge these things day-to-day and moment-to-moment.” However, the team listed the two-time Finals MVP as available on its latest injury report today.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York teams ahead of their game tonight:

  • There’s “real concern” around the league from people who know Kyrie Irving about his ongoing absence, says Joe Vardon of The Athletic. The Nets guard, who was spotted on a Zoom call for a Manhattan District Attorney candidate on Tuesday evening, will face a quarantine period when he returns, assuming the NBA finds he violated COVID-19 protocols by attending a large gathering to celebrate a family member’s birthday. Having previously reported that Irving isn’t expected back this week, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (video link) suggests the star guard may not be active next week either.
  • The Knicks have unexpectedly upgraded Obi Toppin (calf) to probable for Wednesday’s game (Twitter link). The rookie forward said he was just cleared for contact today and hasn’t yet practiced in full, tweets Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. It’s unclear whether or not he’ll actually see much – or any – action tonight, says Marc Berman of The New York Post (Twitter link).
  • Taj Gibson will be available for the Knicks on Wednesday night, as Berman writes for The New York Post. The recently-signed big man is reportedly in shape, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll play an immediate role.
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20 thoughts on “New York Notes: Durant, Irving, Toppin, Gibson

  1. seamaholic

    Could Kyrie in effect be quitting basketball? Sure starting to sound like it.

  2. parkers

    Net’s made a decision two years ago to sign a injured Durant and a recent Celtic Irving. In the process they set in motion the undermining of Kenny Atkinson. Soon after the season began with both Durant and Irving sidelined, the Nets were struggling. Even after Atkinson coaching the team into the playoffs the previous year, after enduring a few years of cap space hell. Atkinson announced he was resigning, allegedly because he felt he had lost the team’s confidence. Now with a new coach and the return of Durant, Irving has gone AWOL. Having been the subject of many stories claiming that he left Cleveland because he wanted to be the man and being a reason for the Celtic’s total dysfunction.

    The NBA has become a coaches nightmare, bow to the whims of its stars or be fired. Players collude to go to teams where they think best benefits them. The Net’s made a decision to depart from what seemed to be a slow but sure advance, choosing the quick fix of bowing to the star syndrome. Unfortunately a leopard doesn’t lose its spots nor does a malcontent player lose his arrogance.

    Decisions have consequences and the Nets salary cap position will have repercussions.

    • emarque

      No. Why would Brooklyn do this. He’s signed for 4 years. They still have a good team as is.

      • Tatsumaki

        Marty knows warriors won’t win without kd, even though he puts curry on a pedestal greater than mj….

        • Marty McRae

          Curry is better than MJ in my humble opinion, and will most likely in the general opinion of an NBA fan in the year 2040 too.

          GSW easily going to win without him, but I just love his game! He’s KD! Pretty much a top 10 player all-time. Curry still better, but Curry knows how to win with KD…it’s always about winning btw.

    • The Nets would never even consider offering that, so let’s say the Nets.

      They have Durant for several more years and he’s a player you can build around.

      • Marty McRae

        Haha, it’s true, but wouldn’t he rather win now than wait for another elite player to decide to join him?

        Look, I just love KD as a baller and want him on my team again, what can I say? I was joking around but it still kinda matches up? Wouldnt BK want a top 3 pick from a loaded draft including Zion-level elite players involved, to add to their pieces?

  3. RyanO

    Harden > Irving. At least harden seems to care about winning & basketball in general, even if not his current team.

    Kyrie is supposed to be out for ‘personal reasons’ & he’s on this call…

    Wanted to cancel bubble startup, seems checked out, putting sage on the courts before games, making extremely bizarre social media posts. I seriously hope he’s alright mentally.

    Almost seems like he had a bad trip and has yet to come back to reality … lol

    • Cap & Crunch

      Just my opinion but id take Irving over Harden come any playoff series to move on to the next rd assuming both make it to the arena on time

  4. jump shot

    Who didn’t know SOMETHING would go wrong with Kyrie in Brooklyn???

  5. joeyrocafella

    Kyrie should leave the league. He has other things he is trying to achieve outside of basketball and the game seems to be a secondary, or even tertiary, priority in his life right now. I’m sure he doesn’t want to give up all that money he is still owed, but he is sabotaging other player’s careers with his selfishness (selfishness from a basketball standpoint, as he is very financially generous outside of basketball)

  6. Cap & Crunch

    You know what they say
    “When the goin gets tough the tough hit the strip club”

  7. the dude

    I’m gonna start calling him Kanye Irving ffs. If he’s so hell bent on giving his time for social justice maybe he should quit and give up some of that money he’s making to do nothing.

  8. KnickerbockerAl

    Har en first gm could be in “The Garden”. Too bad there won’t be anybody there. Knicks actually need this gm. Knicks could steal this. Knicks just have to get healthy. So we can get back to really rebuilding. And weeding out the bad help.

  9. x%sure

    Irving may be trying to force BRK into a Harden trade by being questionable. It would be good if there was a rational explanation for his absence, even a maddening one.

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