Nets Morning Shootaround: Kyrie, the vaccine and Brooklyn feels KD’s absence

Brooklyn Nets Kevin Durant
Jan 7, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) and forward Kevin Durant (7) at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets felt the loss of Kevin Durant in Monday’s defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the headlines came afterward as Kyrie Irving made his stance abundantly clear on whether he would be getting the COVID vaccine. The exchange between reporters and Irving, while tense at times, seemed to clear up any confusion at least for the time being.

Also, a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors found himself in hot water on Monday. Who have been the top replacement players during the NBA’s COVID fallout?

All these stories and more in the Morning Shootaround:

Nets News

  • The Nets played their first game without Kevin Durant on Monday and his presence on the court was missed. Brooklyn struggled defensively in the first half and then couldn’t knock down shots in the final stretch of the game. It all combined for a loss against Cleveland. (The Brooklyn Game)


  • While everyone knows how tough it will be without Durant, head coach Steve Nash isn’t looking for anyone to feel sorry for his team and no one should be crying over the circumstances. (The Brooklyn Game)


  • Kyrie Irving will not be getting the vaccine. It doesn’t matter what is going on the court, the Nets superstar told reporters on Monday. Irving’s point to reporters was that while basketball is a big part of his life, it isn’t his whole life and his decision is one that comes from what’s best in his eyes for himself away from the court. (The Brooklyn Game)


  • Reaction to Kevin Durant and the Nets latest spin of bad luck continued to come in as Brooklyn looks to keep their foot on the gas. (The Washington Post)


  • The Nets became the first professional sports team to enter the Metaverse with their new innovative video system. The “Netaverse” develops 3D lifelike renderings in seconds and the team hopes it is a futuristic way for basketball fans to watch the NBA. (HYPEBEAST)

NBA News

  • Miles Bridges had his MSG moment on Monday against the New York Knicks. He put up a career-high 38 points in Charlotte’s 97-87 win. (amNewYork)


  • The Warriors are distancing themselves from comments made by minority owner Chamath Palihapitiya over the weekend. Palihapitiya told the All-In Podcast that he didn’t care about the Uyghur genocide in China. The comments were made on Saturday but picked up traction on Monday. (NPR)


  • The COVID outbreak in the NBA created an opportunity for many players to get onto the court in NBA games that they wouldn’t otherwise have been able to, especially for replacement players. Now that things appear to be calming down, who were the best replacement players, and do they deserve the chance to keep playing? (Bleacher Report)


  • Lakers head coach Frank Vogel’s job could be in jeopardy. Vogel is being evaluated on a game-to-game basis. (The Athletic)