Irving left the game in the early first quarter after appearing to reinjure a facial injury.
Amid all the turmoil between China and the NBA, there was an actual basketball game scheduled to take place, giving fans in China an exciting matchup between the LeBron James and Anthony Davis-led Lakers and Kyrie Irving and the Nets. Unfortunately for any Irving fans in attendance, his Brooklyn debut lasted a swift 66 seconds.
Just two minutes into the game, Irving caught a stray shoulder to the face from Rajon Rondo while guarding him on the wing, and he immediately called to be taken out. Irving has been wearing a facial protection mask since fracturing a bone in his face in a pickup game before training camp in September.
Kyrie took a shot to the face while wearing protective mask, leaves game and looks in pain on the bench pic.twitter.com/R5mlUpG778— gifdsports (@gifdsports) October 10, 2019
Irving immediately slumped over on the bench while holding his face, and appeared to be in pain.
After getting hit in the face, Kyrie Irving tossed his facemask down, walked to the bench and cut loose with an expletive, in clear discomfort. Moments later Caris LeVert appears to have been poked in the right eye. #Nets— Brian Lewis (@NYPost_Lewis) October 10, 2019
It can be incredibly frustrating for any player to travel all the way to China for a game, just to have it end abruptly before it really ever started. There’s no word yet on the severity of Irving’s injury. With the regular season just weeks away, the Nets would prefer to have their star player fully healthy before the season starts, and this inadvertent shot to the face is a minor setback for the All-Star guard.