Knicks make NBA historical past as Fournier activates model towards Celtics

Kevin Durant has reiterated that he will not force or persuade Kyrie Irving to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Irving had been removed from the Brooklyn Nets’ original list for the 2021-22 season because he had chosen not to receive a vaccine.

New York City’s vaccination mandate means the seven-time all-star won’t be able to play home games unless he’s vaccinated.

Irving would have been available for most of the street games, although the Nets chose not to involve him at all.

That all changed when Irving was recalled due to an exhausted squad caused by a sharp spike in COVID-19 cases and the point guard returned with a 22-point display in Wednesday’s victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Irving was unable to perform on Friday, however, as the Nets lost at home to the Milwaukee Bucks 121-109.

Durant insisted that the Nets accept Irving’s decision.

“I told him how important he is, how much I want him to play, play every game,” Durant told reporters.

“But I’m not going to force anyone to get a vaccine like that isn’t my thing. So that he can play basketball? No, I will not do that.

“We’ve had talks about him being part of the team and talks about him being here full-time, but that’s his time. Whatever decision he wants to make, he will make.

“It’s up to us to be professionals no matter what, getting our jobs done. All of us, from the owner to the device manager, so he’s always ready when he’s ready.”

In Irving’s absence, Durant and star colleague James Harden scored 29 and 16 points respectively for the Nets, but Milwaukee, inspired by Giannis Antetokounmpos’s 31 points, had too much.

“I haven’t even asked for an explanation,” Durant continued. “This is not my place, I think. So I’m ready for anything, that was my whole mentality.

“It’s a strange situation, who knows? I don’t understand most of this shit. COVID, all this stuff was crazy. “

Harden added, “It honestly felt good to have him back [on Wednesday]. It feels good. It felt like an extra life we ​​had.

“But we have to live with what we are dealing with and those are home games that we have to find and even street games.

“Just because Ky is on the road with us doesn’t mean it will be easy for us too. So we have to mesh, we have to find ways to win games.”

Buck’s talisman Antetokounmpo was asked if he would do otherwise.

“When it comes to basketball, I can talk to them,” he replied. “I have to let her make her decision. They are grown men and every situation is different.

“I can’t pressure someone to do something they’re not comfortable with. I can tell you why I did it. Why I felt comfortable doing it. To protect my family, my mother and so on go on, stay safe and you “I just hope he understands. But if he doesn’t want to, I can’t put any further pressure on him. “

Knicks suppose Derrick Rose will acclimate shortly to crew’s type

Derrick Rose’s reintroduction was particularly premature.

He was traded on Sunday and reportedly sat outside the shootaround on Tuesday because he had to pass a physical pass. He was immediately transferred to the second unit against the heat that night and got to know the backyard comrade Immanuel Quickley very well. . . Good . . . fast.

And it worked out fine.

Rose’s gritty, physical attack went well with rookie Quickley’s shooting skills, and Rose finished with 14 points and three assists in 20 minutes. In addition, he has proven that he can adapt to his new environment – something coach Tom Thibodeau believes will only improve once the Knicks have two days off between games.

“We were able to do some quality exercises and have to carry them over into the games,” said Thibodeau when the Knicks faced the Wizards on Friday. “I think it’s important for us when you have a young team to acclimatize someone who has a job. The more time you have together on the pitch – and of course there are a lot of things we have to work on – but I think it’s helpful and of course we want to develop the right habits. “

Thibodeau, who also coached Rose with the Bulls and Timberwolves, said familiarity helps, but Rose’s 14-year career probably helps a lot more.

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“I think the upside is he’s a veteran and he’s been through things so he has to get used to the terminology, that’s the greatest,” Thibodeau said. “Chicago was a long time ago, Minnesota was a long time ago, so there are things to pick up on, but conceptually a lot of things are the same, especially defensive. And then offensively, see the actions – your pick and roll stuff, yours Side pick and roll, your angle pick and roll, your catch and shoot, your transition, the things you do outside of the river, and I think he is very good at taking that up quickly. “

And Julius Randle said that Rose’s experience is more than just another fringe attacker off the bench. The team is young and if Rose’s tag team with Quickley showed any signs of it on Tuesday, the added stability on the pitch will strengthen the roster. While Quickley had doubled up, Rose was partying.

“He will be very helpful,” said Randle after the shootaround. “It’s not just giving us a veteran presence, but a man who can go out there and create plays, just a consistency with him, just a trust in him, so I’m extremely excited. I think he’s going to help us a lot to win.” Obviously he’s familiar with Thibs and everything that’s going on, so it will likely be a quick adjustment for him. When the news got out, I was very excited to have him here. “

And while Thibodeau previously said he was more comfortable sitting Rose on the track because the Knicks used him in an earlier package, that is likely to change, especially given the early return.

“Every day he will be more comfortable with everything,” said Thibodeau. “We can of course combine with a lot of different combinations. Usually we have a fixed rotation at the beginning of the game, but the end of the game depends on what we need and who is playing well.”

Laura Albanese is a general-purpose sports reporter. She started as an intern on Newsday 2007.