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Kyrie Irving Returns

And triumphantly.

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Indiana Pacers
Jan 5, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles the ball while Indiana Pacers forward Oshae Brissett (12) defends in the second half at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. 
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving has been a unique figure in the NBA since he arrived after a star-crossed freshman season at Duke. He was brilliant with Cleveland and teamed up with LeBron James when he returned from his Miami hiatus to win a championship, then forced a trade to Boston.

That didn’t last long and now he’s with the Nets, where he’s had an interesting tenure. This season, he chose not to vaccinate and had to sit as New York City barred non-vaccinated people in various ways that meant he couldn’t play home games.

More recently, the Nets agreed to let him be a part-time player and he had his season debut Wednesday night against the Indiana Pacers.

After going scoreless in the first quarter, Irving finished with 22 and had a major impact on the game. Kevin Durant, for one, was thrilled to have him back: “It was amazing to have him out there,” Durant told the New York Post. “I just missed his presence around the locker room, his energy, his vibe around the team. And then on top of [that], his game is just so beautiful: He makes the game easier for everybody.”