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NBA Rumors: Nets GM Sean Marks Reportedly Felt 'Forced' To Approve The Return Of Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving

Earlier in the season, the Brooklyn Nets held a meeting to decide the fate of Kyrie Irving, who had disqualified himself from home games after refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

After some deliberation, it was decided that Irving could not be a part-time player for the team and that he would sit until he was available to play in all games.

But now, it appears as if Irving could end up playing after all.

(via NetsDaily)

On Friday, the Nets announced through their PR account that Kyrie Irving would be joining his teammates “part-time,” ineligible to participate in Brooklyn’s home games because of the New York City COVID-19 mandate. Then, on Saturday, news broke that Kyrie Irving had become the latest Net to enter health and safety protocols, joining his co-stars Kevin Durant and James Harden. Sources confirmed to NetsDaily that Irving’s placement in the protocols was due to a positive COVID test.

Interestingly, the story of Irving's sudden return goes deeper than one might think. According to NetsDaily, GM Sean Marks met with an agent of one of his big-time players, and some reports suggest he was essentially forced to green-light Kyrie's part-time return to the team.

The plan to bring back Kyrie Irving was put into motion as early as last week, sources tell me and NetsDaily.

With Kevin Durant and James Harden amongst the league leaders in minutes per game and shouldering a heavy load, an agent of at least one of them met with GM Sean Marks.

The goal of that meeting was simple; It was time for Marks and Nets owner Joe Tsai to re-think the stance of disallowing Kyrie Irving from team activities including road games. Ideally, even as a part-time player, Irving could help preserve Durant and Harden for the playoffs, the argument went.

Sources say that those discussions were somewhat contentious. Some within the Nets organization believed Marks left the meeting feeling as if his hand had been forced. Although Durant has signed an extension, Harden (and Irving) have player options in the summer.

Despite holding the top spot in the East, the Nets have been short-handed all season long with a lot of their players missing time due to injury or health and safety protocols.

Irving's return could be a huge boost for the team, even if he is only available on the road. As one of the NBA's most elite ball handlers, playmakers, and scorers, his presence could alleviate the burden of KD and Harden, and better prepare them for the playoffs.

Of course, the means by which Kyrie's return is happening has raised more than a few questions about the inner workings of the franchise.