It seems like Kevin Durant and James Harden have a lot of say in what goes down in Brooklyn, but when it came to the decision to not have Kyrie Irving around the Nets until he’s a full-time player, it was all on upper brass.
Harden told reporters on Wednesday that he had “no say” in the decision, adding that he can only “state [his] opinion.”
“That’s the front office. We had conversations, as far as a collective unit, and the ultimate decision that the front office made was that if Ky wasn’t gonna be here full-time, then it’s best for him not to be on the team part-time. I have no say so in that, and I can only state my opinion. We gotta continue to move forward. Obviously we would love to have Kyrie here.”
Irving remains unvaccinated, which led his to not be able to play in home games due to New York City’s vaccination mandates.
Head coach Steve Nash said that “everyone” was able to have their say, but the decision made “complete sense to everyone.”
“It takes time to make decisions like that. This was a difficult decision, but I think it was a sound one and one that makes complete sense to everyone,” Nash said. “And we’re just gonna have to move on. If things change, like I said, it would be incredible to have him back in the fold but it was a tenuous situation to have a player in and out like that. So there’s more clarity, and we can focus on the future and keep going.”
Despite it being a tough call to make, Harden admitted that it was nice to have some clarity in both the short- and long-term future of the team.
“I think that was a part of it,” Harden said of why they made the decision. “Now, it’s just every single game, we got guys who know what their role is consistently, what they’re supposed to be doing night in and night out.”
“I think for us, we just gotta focus on the guys in this locker room, and that’s here, that’s putting in the work every single day,” Harden added. “That’s all we can control, that’s all we can focus on. Every single day is already a struggle. It’s already difficult just ‘cause we’re trying to catch up, we’re trying to put it together. So I think that’s the main thing we can focus on, is getting better every single day as a unit whoever is in the locker room and preparing for game with us.”
Neither Harden nor Nash has talked to Irving since the decision was made on Wednesday.