NBA

Warren comeback 'felt like a dream' as Nets forward ends two-year injury layoff

By Sports Desk December 03, 2022

T.J. Warren ended a two-year exodus from the court after making his Brooklyn Nets debut in Friday's 114-105 win over the Toronto Raptors.

The small forward, who last played on December 29, 2020 with the Indiana Pacers, has been out since with a succession of surgeries for a left foot injury.

With Kyrie Irving's 27-point haul leading the hosts to victory at Barclays Center, Warren scored 10 and posted four rebounds over a 17-minute spell off the bench.

To finally get back on the floor, however, was the big success of the night for the 29-year-old, who was delighted to put his injury nightmare behind him.

"It almost felt like a dream," he said. "As soon as I checked in, it kind of hit me like, 'Wow, this is real.' Once I got up and down it was just like, 'All right, this is basketball.'.

"It was just super fun to be out there and compete with the guys."

Team-mate Kevin Durant was also happy to see Warren, who signed with the Nets in July, tick off a major milestone on his road back to the top of the professional game.

"He's a poised guy," he added. "He showed that he belongs out here. It felt like he didn't really miss too much of a [beat]. Two years he missed? It didn't feel like that.

"But we still got to be patient with him. We still understand that he had tough injuries, and he spent a lot of time away from the game, but he looked great to me."

The Nets will next face the Boston Celtics on Sunday, as they look to strengthen their hand in the Eastern Conference in the run-up to Christmas.

Related items

  • Kyrie 'felt very disrespected' in Brooklyn Kyrie 'felt very disrespected' in Brooklyn

    Kyrie Irving "felt very disrespected" during his time with the Brooklyn Nets, he said after joining the Dallas Mavericks.

    Irving was traded by the Nets to the Mavericks after a tumultuous four years in Brooklyn.

    The eight-time All-Star joined the Nets alongside Kevin Durant in 2019, but the pair were unable to deliver success together.

    Injuries, along with Irving's absence as he was unvaccinated at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, limited the two superstars to only 71 starts together.

    Irving pushed for a trade ahead of Thursday's deadline and was granted his move to the Mavericks before explaining why he wanted to leave Brooklyn.

    "I just know I want to be places where I'm celebrated and not just tolerated or dealt with in a way that doesn't make me feel respected," he said.

    "There were times during this process where I was in Brooklyn and just felt very disrespected, my talent.

    "I work extremely hard at what I do; nobody ever talks about my work ethic, everyone talks about what I'm doing off the floor. I want to change that narrative, write my own story, continue to prepare in the gym, and now I'm in Dallas, control what I can control.

    "I'm always going to be close with those guys in Brooklyn, like I am with those guys in Boston, like I am with those guys in Cleveland.

    "It's a team competitive sport, but we care about each other's families way more off the court. I know those relationships will extend, I'm just preparing to win.

    "I'm not the person to really speak on names or go to someone behind their back and leak stuff to the media, that's never been me.

    "I've been an audience member seeing people say things about me that ultimately just fall off my shoulder. I'm in a place I'm grateful I got to grow into.

    "I spent time off the basketball court that gave me the time to appreciate life in a new way.

    "I know I need healthy boundaries. Especially in this entertainment business, there's a lot of disrespect that goes on with people's names and their families; I'm just not with it.

    "It's nothing personal against those guys in the front office, it's just what I'm willing to accept.

    "I took a chance and luckily the Dallas Mavericks picked me up. It's just all what I can control."

  • Heat trade Dedmon to Spurs, injury blow for Lowry Heat trade Dedmon to Spurs, injury blow for Lowry

    Dewayne Dedmon's time with the Heat is over after Miami traded the back-up centre to the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday.

    The Spurs also receive a second-round pick in the 2028 draft, while the Heat got cash considerations, which gives the franchise financial flexibility.

    Dedmon is averaging 5.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 30 games this season, but has only appeared in one contest since being ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct in a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on January 10.

    In that game, the 33-year-old argued with Heat coaches about playing time, feuded with team-mates and knocked a massage gun onto the court during play. He was suspended for one game by the Heat for his actions.

    He joins a San Antonio team that has the second-worst record in the Western Conference at 14-40, and this will be his second stint with the franchise after playing there in 2016-17.

    The 10-year veteran with career averages of 6.4 points and 5.8 rebounds has also played for the Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic, Atlanta Hawks and Sacramento Kings.

    The Heat, who are atop the Southeast Division with a 29-25 record, move on without Dedmon, as well as Kyle Lowry for the foreseeable future.

    Lowry sat out Saturday's loss to the Milwaukee Bucks due to left knee soreness, and the Heat announced he will miss at least three more games.

    He will be re-evaluated next week, with Miami having just two more games before the All-Star break.

    The 17-year veteran missed three games in January due to left knee discomfort and he has struggled to find his shot since returning, averaging 5.6 points on 25 per cent shooting in his last five games.

    On the season, the 36-year-old is averaging 12 points – his lowest scoring average since averaging 11.6 points in 2012-13 for the Toronto Raptors.

  • Nets coach Vaughn wishes best for Kyrie after guard makes Mavericks trade Nets coach Vaughn wishes best for Kyrie after guard makes Mavericks trade

    Brooklyn Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn wants Kyrie Irving to succeed despite his departure from the team, after he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks.

    The guard made the move from New York to Texas ahead of Thursday's deadline after threatening to leave as a free agent at the end of the season.

    It has been an unsettled campaign for Irving with the Nets, having been suspended for eight games after posting a link on social media to an antisemitic film.

    But Vaughn, who has picked up Mavericks pair Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith in return, had nothing but kind words to say after his exit.

    "My interactions with Kai have always been positive," he said after the Nets slipped to a 124-116 loss against the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday.

    "I enjoyed coaching him. I want him to succeed. I'll keep it that simple. We've had some ups and downs along the way. I've also seen the young man score 60 points.

    "I've also seen him bring his kids into the locker room. I've also seen him grow as an individual and be a better teammate than when I first met him.

    "For me, I'm going to always look at the good in people and want the good in people. I want him to succeed. He's no longer with us, but I appreciate his time."

    Irving, who will link up with three-time All-NBA Team guard Luka Doncic in Dallas, will be out to help push the Mavericks into the championship race.

    The team sit fifth in the Western Conference with a 29-26 record after a 124-111 win over the Utah Jazz and face the Clippers next on Wednesday.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.