Kyrie Irving to miss Nets game for personal reasons, surprising Steve Nash

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Nets point guard Kyrie Irving missed Thursday’s game against Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia with what the team listed as personal reasons.

And shortly before tipoff, Steve Nash said he had no clue what those reasons were. The Nets coach – already without superstar Kevin Durant because of the contact tracing quarantine – didn’t find out he he had lost his other All-Star until about 30 minutes before his pregame press conference, or just over two hours before tipoff.

“I don’t know. I sent him a message. I just found out. So I just sent him a message in the last half hour and haven’t heard back yet,” said Nash. “Obviously thinking about him and hope all is well and, yeah, it’s a private matter.”

Irving is fine according to the Athletic, but there is no timetable for Irving’s return. Nash said it wasn’t just a case of respecting Irving’s privacy, but that he had no idea why the point guard wasn’t at Barclays Center.

“I don’t. I haven’t spoke to him yet. I’ve messaged him,” said Nash. “When I found out I came in here and basically talked to you guys, so I don’t have an update on him.”

Irving came into Thursday sixth in the league in scoring (27.1), tied for seventh in 3-pointers (26), and fourth in plus/minus (+94), trailing only Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

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