Steve Nash says Kyrie Irving has been ‘extremely locked in’

Kyrie Irving
Nets head coach Steve Nash talks with guard Kyrie Irving between free throw attempts against the Golden State Warriors in the fourth quarter at the Chase Center.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving is gearing up for the Nets’ final stretch of the season in a big way, Steve Nash told reporters.

The Nets superstar has only been eligible for games outside the five boroughs since he rejoined the team on a part-time basis in January, but that could change soon with Wednesday’s news that New York City does have a plan to phase out its vaccine mandate. Since Irving is unvaccinated, he has not been allowed to play at the Barclays Center.

But when the time comes that the mandate is lifted, the talented point guard will be ready.

“I will say that he’s been extremely locked in,” Nash said, according to ESPN. “Kyrie’s been great on the practice floor. He’s been great in film sessions. He’s been creating dialogue over aspects of our play. So I sense a real focus and urgency from him. And so if that’s any indication, I would say he is getting excited at the prospect of being allowed to play in all our games and hopefully in the short term.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams did not give many specifics during an unrelated press conference on Wednesday, but indicated that the city would go through a “real transformation” in the next few weeks. As of now, Irving can only play in eight of the Nets’ final 23 games of the regular season.

Nash said that it would be great to have Irving in every game down the stretch, but was quick to remind everyone that he does not control the local COVID regulations. As for Irving, Nash’s confidence in his play remains strong.

“I think he’s working towards being able to play in every game,” Nash said. “So if the mandate is lifted, the expectation would be that he can play in all our games. I think that’s what he’s been waiting for and what he’s excited about, and if the opportunity arises, the plan and the goal is to play every night.”