Nets All-Star forward Kevin Durant is trying to stay optimistic as the Kyrie Irving situation drags on, Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN writes. Irving can’t practice at the team’s facility and will have to miss more than half of its games unless he changes his mind and gets vaccinated. Durant believes Irving will eventually rejoin his teammates.
“I’m envisioning Kyrie being a part of our team,” Durant said. “Maybe I’m just naïve, but that is just how I feel. But I think everybody here has that confidence in themselves, in our group, that if we keep building, we can do something special.”
We have more from the Atlantic Division:
- The Knicks have a crowded backcourt but second-year guard Immanuel Quickley remains part of the team’s plans. Coach Tom Thibodeau believes he can play Quickley in a number of different guard combinations, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic. “The great value with (Quickley) is that he plays with Derrick (Rose) and Alec (Burks), and so really the point (guard) is interchangeable with those guys. They move the ball and they make plays for each other real well,” Thibodeau said. “So, oftentimes, Quickley will bring it up. Derrick will bring it up. Alec could bring it up or we’ll get into dribble-handoffs. … We’re gonna fly around.”
- Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens doesn’t miss the daily grind of being the head coach, he told A. Sherrod Blakely of Full Court Press. “I haven’t had to worry about practice plan, game plan, none of that,” said Stevens. “I’ve enjoyed watching Ime (Udoka) put the team together and figure out how he wants to play, who compliments who, and all those things that go into that.”
- Sixers second-year guard Isaiah Joe is angling for playing time and he’s gotten off to a good start in the preseason, Gina Mizell of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. He had 18 points — including four 3-pointers — three rebounds and three steals against the Raptors. “We’ve got to get him on the floor more is what I keep telling our coaches,” coach Doc Rivers said, “because those 10 guys [in the rotation] are playing so much. … I told [Joe], I don’t care what unit you’re on, just keep going back and forth.”