Steve Nash: Nets ‘feel good’ about season despite moving parts, including Kyrie Irving’s vaccine status

Steve Nash Kyrie Irving Joe Harris Bruce Brown cropped 6/10/21

Steve Nash Kyrie Irving Joe Harris Bruce Brown cropped 6/10/21

Nets head coach Steve Nash likes how Brooklyn’s roster for the 2021-22 season is coming together despite a number of new players and uncertainty around Kyrie Irving‘s vaccine status.

About a week remains until the regular season tips off next Tuesday with the Bucks in Milwaukee. The Nets’ preseason finale is slated for Thursday, a 7:30 matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves at Barclays Center.

«We’re just trying to navigate this thing,» Nash said Monday when asked about Irving, who did not travel for the Nets’ second-to-last preseason game against the 76ers at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. «We don’t really know what’s going to happen tomorrow. So, I think, really, we’re just trying to take our time to figure out what everything means.

«And new information seems to come in every week. So, if anything, we’re just in that process of trying to navigate not only the information, the parameters but also the line and how it looks and feels and what we can do to make this work. So that’s all.»

Irving was a seventh-time All-Star last season, his 10th. He averaged 26.9 points on 50.6 percent shooting while adding 6.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds in 34.9 minutes over 54 regular season games.

The Nets return Irving with a Big 3 of Kevin Durant and James Harden chief among others, but are meshing multiple offseason additions.

Veterans Patty Mills and Paul Millsap signed as free agents, in addition to LaMarcus Aldridge coming out of retirement after a brief 2020-21 stint.

«We feel good,» Nash said. «I don’t know if that means we’re going to get off to a 10-0 start, but we feel good about the guys. Their approach, their energy, their commitment has been great. And we’ll get there when we get there, but you can’t ask for anything more than what they’ve provided us on the floor in practice and in these games. And we’re also not in a race. … this isn’t a situation where we have to be a finished product at the start of the season.

«We want to incorporate these guys in a natural way, to build on last year’s kind of continuity in a natural way with the new players and allow it to come. When you force it or you put too much pressure on that process, I think it can backfire. So we’re trying to do it in a helpful way.»