The Brooklyn Nets can officially reset their “it has been __ days since last incident” calendar.
Brooklyn had been rolling right along. The Nets won 9 out of 10 games and closed to within half a game of the Boston Celtics of the best record in the NBA.
Then superstar forward Kevin Durant went down with a sprained MCL. Durant is expected to miss a minimum of two weeks due to the injury. Boston has since pushed its lead in the Eastern Conference back out to four games.
Brooklyn, meanwhile, has lost consecutive games to the Celtics and, most recently, the lowly Oklahoma City Thunder. Ben Simmons came under fire for a scoreless performance against Boston. But it was Kyrie Irving left answering questions following the loss to Oklahoma City.
In the process of doing so, he threw some shade in the direction of former teammate and current Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden.
Kyrie Irving Takes Thinly Veiled Shot At James Harden After Loss
Harden and Irving were teammates for all of half a season with the Brooklyn Nets. Harden then asked for a trade and was dealt to Philly in exchange for Simmons and more.
Irving and Harden reportedly did not see eye-to-eye during their time in Brooklyn together. And it appears that those wounds have not yet healed for Irving.
After the loss to the Thunder, he was asked if the Nets are positioned differently than last season to deal with Durant’s absence. His answer appeared to be a pretty thinly veiled shot at Harden.
Kyrie Irving on why Kevin Durant's absence could have a different impact this season compared to last year: "Well, I’m consistently in the lineup. That helps. We also don't have halfway in anybody in the locker room."
SHOTS FIRED? pic.twitter.com/p2xMKKZrSM
— HoopsHype (@hoopshype) January 16, 2023
“Well, I’m consistently in the lineup. That helps,” he said. “We also don’t have halfway in anybody in the locker room.”
Irving, of course, was in and out of the lineup last year due to his own choice not to get vaccinated. Some might even say that he was “halfway” in the locker room. Meanwhile, the only notable piece no longer in the locker room from last year to this year is Harden.
Brooklyn’s loss drops it to just a half game ahead of Harden’s Sixers, who picked up a 113-112 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night. The former league MVP had 24 points, 13 assists and 7 rebounds in the victory.