By BRIAN MAHONEY, Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Kyrie Irving will not play for the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night (Feb. 4), a day after he told the team he would like to be traded.
The Nets said Irving’s absence was due to right calf soreness, adding him to the injury report for their game against Washington. Irving had not been listed on the report Friday night or Saturday morning.
Brooklyn coach Jacque Vaughn said before the game that he was unsure if Irving would be at Barclays Center for the game. Vaughn did say Irving “was not at the walkthrough.”
He wouldn’t speculate if Irving would be available for the Nets’ two remaining games before the trade deadline Thursday afternoon.
“I’m just going to be concerned about (the Wizards),” Vaughn said. “I’m not going to complicate this thing at all.”
Irving asked the Nets for a trade Friday, a person with knowledge of the details told The Associated Press. The All-Star has been frustrated that the Nets have thus far refused to give him an extension on his contact that expires after this season.
Vaughn said he spoke with Irving and the rest of the team Friday, prior to the star guard’s trade request becoming public. However, it was not a topic of conversation between the coach and his team.
“Our conversations were more than basketball,” said Vaughn. “Life, checking in on them. I never want to speculate how a player feels. Their feelings are their feelings. And I’ll always validate that. … So I won’t speculate.”
Kevin Durant is still sidelined because of a sprained knee ligament, and Ben Simmons and T.J. Warren will each also miss their fourth straight game with left knee soreness and a left shin contusion, respectively. Simmons was downgraded after previously being listed as questionable. Warren was initially listed as doubtful, which changed to out about an hour before gametime.
“Just trying to get to a level — T.J. and Ben — where they’re comfortable getting back on the court and playing,” Vaughn said.
When asked if he had received a timetable when to expect Simmons to be able to play, Vaughn said, “I think we’re inching toward that way. It’s really day to day. He’ll get back on the court tomorrow. Hopefully he feels a comfort level and responds to the work tomorrow to get him close to playing these next two games.”