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Brooklyn Nets announce 2020-21 first-half schedule, with lots of games on national TV; enigmatic superstar Irving declines meeting with media

BROOKLYN NETS ANNOUNCE 2020-21 FIRST HALF SCHEDULE, the team announced yesterday, citing the previously announced Dec. 22 official tip-off (which comes after a Dec. 13 exhibition game), 37 games in total, and 19 home games.

That's part of a truncated 72-game season--at least unless pandemic complications further truncate it. The team noted, "Barclays Center will be following New York State guidelines to determine when fans can return to games. Current guidelines do not permit fans."

"Brooklyn will be featured on national television 19 times in the first half of the season, with six games on TNT, four on ESPN, three on ABC and six on NBA TV," it said. (That's beyond the local TV contract, obviously.) As noted by NetsDaily:
In the first four years of Sean Marks (and Kenny Atkinson’s) time in Brooklyn, the Nets only played 15 games — combined — on national TV: one each in the first three years, then 12 last season. Funny what the addition of a healthy Kevin Durant can do.
A healthy Kevin Durant, with healthy co-superstar Kyrie Iriving. 

Irving's gambit

The enigmatic Irving, who's said his words have been twisted by the media in the past, also made headlines by declining to meet with reporters--despite contract requirements of all players--and instead issuing a statement "ensure that my message is conveyed properly."

“Life hit differently this year and it requires us, it requires me, to move differently," said Irving. "So, this is the beginning of that change.”

Presumably any fines to him and the team will be affordable. Look to this to be an issue more if the Nets fail to gel and succeed; there's nothing like winning to validate a strategy.