Nets guard Kyrie Irving is not expected to join Brooklyn's lineup this week amid an NBA investigation, according to ESPN's Malika Andrews and Adrian Wojnarowski.
The league plans to "review videos circulating on social media of a maskless Irving at what appears to be a family birthday party," per Andrews and Wojnarowski.
The video in question reportedly features Irving's attending his sister's birthday, and, if found to be recent, it could serve as evidence of a COVID-19 protocol violation. The NBA's current COVID-19 policy forbids players from attending social gatherings of more than 15 people.
"We are aware of a video on social media featuring Kyrie Irving at a family gathering," Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a statement on Tuesday. "We are reviewing the circumstances with both Kyrie and the NBA in order to determine compliance with health and safety protocols."
Irving also attended a virtual event for Manhattan District Attorney candidate, Tahanie Aboushi, on Tuesday evening, according to Andrews. The Nets tipped off against the Nuggets in Barclays a half hour after the event started.
Irving was previously ruled out for Tuesday's game against Denver as he sits out his fourth straight contest due to personal matters. Brooklyn's point guard has not played since Jan. 5, and no date has been set for his potential return. Irving is now expected to also miss Wednesday's game against the Knicks and Saturday's contest against the Magic as the NBA conducts its investigation.
The NBA has conducted multiple investigations into potential health and safety violations this season. Rockets guard James Harden was fined $50,000 in December after being spotted maskless at a Houston Christmas party. Harden was forced to register four negative COVID-19 tests before returning to the floor.
The Nets currently sit No. 10 in the Eastern Conference at 5–6. They are 1–2 since Irving began his absence.