Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving Losing Almost $900,000 For Breaking NBA's COVID-19 Protocols

Ryan Aston

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving made headlines recently for attending a family party sans face mask while taking personal time away from his team. As a result, the six-time All-Star and former No. 1 overall pick will be docked a significant amount of pay for breaking the NBA's health and safety protocols amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

As relayed by ESPN's Malika Andrews, the league is fining Irving $50,000 for his violation in the wake of an investigation of videos circulating on social media that showed the floor general attending the 30th birthday party of his older sister, model and designer Asia Irving.

Per league rules, players are prohibited from going to bars, clubs, lounges and gatherings of 15 or more people in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus and allow for the 2020-21 season to play out in a safe manner. The association has experienced multiple game cancellations lately due to players and team staff members testing positive for COVID-19.

So far, Irving has tested negative for the coronavirus. However, his conduct has necessitated a five-day quarantine period that will force him to miss at least two games. The 28-year-old will forfeit his $816,898 salary for those contests, per ESPN's front office insider Bobby Marks, bringing his total losses to nearly $900,000.

Nets general manager Sean Marks has indicated that his point guard was tested daily during his absence, which has resulted in five missed games so far. He is expected to return to action on Saturday against the Orlando Magic provided that he continues to test negative.

Irving isn't the only player on Brooklyn's roster to run afoul of the league for attending a party in violation of safety guidelines. James Harden, the former NBA MVP and multi-time scoring champion who joined the team this week in a blockbuster trade, attended the birthday celebration of "The Bigger Picture" rapper Lil Baby in December during a period when players had been required to self-quarantine in preparation for the start of the season.

Incidentally, the Nets may have acquired Harden as a direct result of Irving's apparent dissatisfaction with his current club. According to a Twitter report from KRON-TV's Jason Dumas, sources close to Irving have indicated that he may have been willing to extend his personal leave and sit out the entirety of the season due to some level of discontent with the organization.

Dumas asserted that this development pushed Brooklyn to bring in Harden.

Through Friday's games, the Nets have compiled a 7-6 record, good for just sixth place in an Eastern Conference some expected them to dominate behind Irving, Kevin Durant and new head coach Steve Nash.

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