This is what it’s come to for the Nets.
Irving scored 29 points on Saturday night in Miami, where he’s allowed to play because Florida doesn’t care whether anyone lives or dies, but the Nets still lost their 11th straight game.
Now the Nets, already without the injured Kevin Durant, face their next four games — against the Kings, Knicks, Wizards, and Celtics — without Irving and without James Harden, because the Nets traded Harden, because Harden could not stand being around this guy anymore. While Kevin Durant says that Harden doesn’t owe anyone an explanation for the end of his time in Brooklyn, but it’s pretty well out there that Harden was sick of Irving’s shit, which at least partially contributed to his wanting out of Brooklyn.
Harden, unlike Durant and Irving, doesn’t have a ring, and he could see where this was all going with a part-time player on the Nets, so he got the hell out of there, and instantly makes the 76ers a title contender, while also bringing actual joy to Joel Embiid, who furthered his MVP case on Saturday in a 10-point win over the Cavaliers.
The 76ers are fifth in the East, but only two games behind the Heat in the loss column.The Nets have tumbled all the way to eighth, and now play the next four games with none of the big three that never really was.
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Irving can hope for New York’s vaccine mandate to be rescinded all he wants, and at a certain point it may be, because who knows what shenanigans Eric Adams will get up to at City Hall. But the damage of Irving’s grotesquely idiotic decision to shun the vaccine is already done for Brooklyn, with a season falling apart and a dream already shattered.