Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash said the Nets can't cry about losing Kevin Durant as they need to step up and try to play their best basketball. After spraining the MCL in his left knee, Durant is expected to miss four-to-six weeks.
"If they get a bunch of games together, great," Nash said, per ESPN. "If they don't, they don't. And we'll be playing the cards we're dealt so it's a little bit out of our hands. We just have to do the best we can.
We can't cry about it. We can't feel sorry for ourselves. We got to keep building, see what we can learn, how we can grow during this period of Kevin being out and Joe [Harris] being out and how we can continue to move this thing forward so when they do come back, we're in a better place -- and he can rejoin us in a place where we can feel better about where we are in that part of the season."
Nash hopes the rest step in in the Durant absence
"Obviously we lose a scorer of the highest caliber," Nash said. "But we also lose size and defense. ... He's such a well-rounded player, does so many things at a high level, plus he gives us small-team size on the perimeter -- there's so many ways that his absence will be felt.
Having said that, it's a great opportunity for guys, and it's an opportunity for our team to grow. We can't rely on him in ways that we could and we have to find ways and solutions to be competitive without him."
Nash also spoke about Kyrie Irving, who recently returned to the team. The Nets sent Irving home at the start of the season because he refused to get vaccinated. Irving is still unvaccinated but the Nets returned him to the team.
"I want Kyrie to have the space to regain his rhythm and not overburden him with, 'Now that Kevin's out, you have to take over and lead the league in scoring.' I want him to find his legs without feeling an extra burden," Nash said.
"He hasn't played for six-plus months, and coming back into the NBA game with little cadence and difficult practice opportunities, I think we have to give him that space to also find his rhythm without feeling overburdened or feeling too much pressure to do things too quickly.
He already has shown his game's right there. And in no time, I think we'll see the Kyrie we all expect, but I don't want him to feel like he has to be that all at once."