Kyrie Irving had to sit out the Nets’ second preseason game in China against the Lakers after aggravating his facial fracture on Thursday. Yes, what you’re probably thinking is a legitimate question. Will he once again struggle to stay healthy this season?
This is team number three for the NBA champion, and in his eighth season in the league, Irving has missed a fair amount of games. To be exact, he’s missed 111 of the 492 games he was on the Cleveland Cavaliers and 37 of the 164 games he was on the Boston Celtics.
The most amount of games he ever played in a season was 75, and that was all the way back in the 2014-15 season. Even that season he eventually went down in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors in overtime with a fractured left kneecap.
Now to be fair, an inability to stay healthy is rarely a player’s fault. Therefore you can’t fairly blame Irving for all of the nagging injuries he’s had throughout his career. However, they’re notable nonetheless. Not just the amount of injuries, but the variety of them.
The 6x All-Star has been sidelined by injuries involving his face, quad, shoulder, knee, eye, hip, thigh and back. Let’s not forget about his toe injury that limited him to just 11 games at Duke as well.
With all of that being said, Nets fans, players and coaches have every right to question whether Irving’s body will hold up enough to accomplish what they want to accomplish in Brooklyn, winning an NBA championship.
Whether or not you’re one of those who are writing this year off since Kevin Durant isn’t playing anyways, the old saying goes “your best ability is availability.”
Although this all seems very pessimistic, it’s also worth noting that despite these injuries, Irving has still been able to accomplish winning an NBA championship, making the All-Star team six times and proving his clutch gene in moments where he can take “the shot.” That no one can take away from him.