Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving said Friday (April 23, 2021) he's observing Ramadan as part of his Muslim faith, which has led to changes in some of his pregame preparations.
Irving discussed the "adjustment" after recording 15 points, 11 assists, nine rebounds and four steals in Friday's 109-104 win over the Boston Celtics:
Kyrie Irving says he's fasting for Ramadan and has had to change some of his preparation for games:
"I am taking part in Ramadan with a lot of my Muslim brothers and sisters and it's been an adjustment" pic.twitter.com/xRRni7V3f1
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) April 24, 2021
He's one of several NBA players observing Ramadan, which began April 12 and runs for 30 days:
Jaylen Brown, Jusuf Nurkic and Enes Kanter are among notable NBA players observing Ramadan this month:
— Fasting from sunrise to sunset
— No water
— Eat as early as 4 a.m. before starting fast pic.twitter.com/Xt2wyXX0iU
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 22, 2021
Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter explained recently that playing in games can help take your mind off the sunrise-to-sunset fasting.
"Once the game is going, you don't think about 'you're thirsty,' you don't think about 'you're hungry' or anything like that," Kanter told reporters. "You're just focusing on the game."
He added: "One thing about Ramadan, I feel like it is all up in your head. It's all about just mental strength."
Meanwhile, Irving stated in December he would also begin burning sage before every game to honor his Native American heritage.
His mother, Elizabeth, was a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North and South Dakota.
Ramadan will conclude May 12, four days before the Nets finish the regular season and turn their focus to a potential championship run.
Irving has been a driving force behind Brooklyn's success—they lead the Eastern Conference with a 40-20 record—ranking seventh in the NBA by averaging 27.1 points through 44 games. His presence alongside Kevin Durant and James Harden gives the Nets the league's most high-end star power.