Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash calls team's decision on Kyrie Irving 'difficult' but 'sound'

James Harden is respectful of Kyrie Irving's beliefs. He said that he has not spoken to Kyrie since the team decided to keep him away until he can participate fully. (0:33).
Steve Nash, Brooklyn Nets coach, addressed his team Wednesday to call it a "difficult", but "sound" decision and started the process of moving on without Kyrie Irving.

After the Nets refused to let their starting point guard practice or play with them for a day until he has completed New York City's COVID-19 vaccination mandate, Nash and star player James Harden stated that they would welcome Irving back, but are happy to continue on.

After Nets practice, Nash said that everyone had their say. It takes time to make such decisions. This is a hard decision. It was difficult, but I believe it was sound and makes perfect sense for everyone.

"We will just move on. If things change, it would not be surprising to have him back in our fold. It was difficult to have a player leave and come back. We have more clarity and can now focus on the future and move forward."

On Tuesday, Sean Marks, general manager of the Nets, announced that he and Joe Tsai had decided to end the uncertainty around Irving. They also decided not to let him join the team until he has received at least one vaccine shot as required under New York City's mandate. Irving was permitted to practice at the Nets' private facility in Brooklyn, but he could not participate in any New York City games unless he had received at least one vaccine shot.

Harden stated that he and Kevin Durant had spoken to the parties involved in the decision. He said that he wanted to win a championship, and that the organization is aligned with him. Harden said that he had not spoken with Irving since Tuesday's decision.

Harden said that Sean [Marks], Steve (Nash), me, KD and Kyrie had all had conversations." "Kyrie holds firm to his beliefs and is strong in that belief. It is something we all respect. All of us love Ky. We all love Ky. But we still have a job.

Harden said, "Individually, me, I am still wanting set myself up for the championship." "And I feel like everyone is on the same track and we are all in it together."

Nash stated that the management's decision allows the team to focus on the future without worrying about the unknown, which could put "an additional strain" on the Nets or their title aspirations.

Nash stated, "It's important for guys to be able not to have uncertainty," It's not something that hangs over us. We made a decision, and that can help us to understand that it's happening. It was not clear from one day to another what would change or what would happen. This can make it difficult and can add extra stress to everyone.

Harden stated that the players know what their roles are moving forward, and that this includes more on the shoulders the Nets' big stars.

Harden stated that Irving's decision was not his. "I can only express my opinion and we have to keep moving forward. We would love to have Kyrie there.

Harden added that "We still have two fairly good leaders on our team." You see what I'm referring to? Ky is also our leader. Kevin [Durant] and I are still our leaders. We have to lead, which is something we're pretty good at, and go out and be great every night."