One thing is clear — the Brooklyn Nets are a completely different animal when Kyrie Irving is on the court.
On Tuesday night, Irving was brilliant, scoring 34 points and dishing out 12 assists in Brooklyn’s 115-108 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA’s play-in tournament. The win secures the seven-seed in the Eastern Conference for Brooklyn, and the Nets will head to Boston on Saturday to play the Celtics in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Irving was spectacular, knocking down the first 12 shots he took, finishing the game 12-15 from the field and 3-6 from beyond the three-point line. He did it all without drinking water or eating any food throughout the day, as Irving was fasting for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
“It’s a journey with God,” Irving said after the game. “And I’m not alone in this. I have brothers and sisters all around the world that are fasting with me. We hold our prayers and our meditations very sacred. And when you come out here … God’s inside me. God’s inside you. God’s inside all of us. I’m walking with faith, and that’s all that matters. And when I get a chance to do this, in this type of arena, and showcase my talents that have been granted to me strictly from God, I’m humbled.”
Kyrie explains being able to play at a high level while fasting during the month of Ramadan pic.twitter.com/wF54hhSeVn
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 13, 2022
Last April, Irving first spoke about being part of the Muslim community, telling reporters that he was “committed to Islam.”
“All praise is due to God, Allah, for this … For me, in terms of my faith and what I believe in, being part of the Muslim community, being committed to Islam, and also just being committed to all races and cultures, religions, just having an understanding and a respect,” Irving said in April 2021. “I just want to put that as a foundation. There’s such a divisive energy out here, or it’s been that way in our society, it’s just so divisive.”
“But yeah, I am taking part in Ramadan with a lot of my Muslim brothers and sisters,” Irving continued. “And it’s been an adjustment. That’s really what I can say. It’s just being committed to my service to God, Allah, and then continuing on with whatever I’m guided with. I’m just happy to be part of my community and doing the right things. So, fasting is definitely part of it — if you know anything about the Muslim community. But yeah, just really blessed and grateful to be taking part of this.”
Irving and the Nets have had a tumultuous season, as Irving was unable to play in Brooklyn home games for the majority of the season due to New York City’s private-sector mandate. In late March, NYC Democratic Mayor Eric Adams announced an exemption for professional athletes to the city’s private sector vaccine mandate, allowing Irving to play at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The duo of Irving and two-time NBA champion Kevin Durant are a scary thought for the rest of the Eastern Conference, but the Nets will have to win three consecutive playoff series on the road in order to reach the NBA Finals.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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