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After his trade request, Kyrie Irving sits out with calf soreness

Kyrie Irving didn't suit up when the Nets hosted the Wizards on Saturday night. (Frank Franklin II/AP)
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NEW YORK — One day after he requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, point guard Kyrie Irving did not play in Saturday’s matchup with the Washington Wizards because of calf soreness.

Nets Coach Jacque Vaughn said during his pregame news conference Saturday that he was unsure whether Irving would attend the game as injured players typically do. The guard did not attend the afternoon walk-through and did not appear to be on the bench when the game began. With the trade deadline looming Thursday, Vaughn said he was taking the situation day by day.

Irving, 30, made his trade request Friday after negotiations on a long-term contract extension reportedly broke down. The Nets, who were fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 31-20 record entering the game, host the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday and the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.

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Vaughn said he took time Friday to reach out to each of his players individually, but he said he did not use his conversation with Irving to ask why he wanted out.

“There’s a business side of this thing, and there’s a human side to this thing,” he said. “I elected to touch on the human side and check on him as an individual. I’ll leave the business side to [General Manager Sean Marks] and that group.”

Despite serving an eight-game suspension in November after promoting an antisemitic film on social media and refusing to disavow antisemitism, Irving has been a steady on-court ballast for Brooklyn during Kevin Durant’s absence with a knee sprain. He was recently voted a starter in this month’s All-Star Game.

He has had an impressive season on the court, averaging 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists. But Vaughn has the rest of his roster to worry about, too — a group that by now is well versed in playing through on-court drama. Vaughn delivered a clear message before Saturday’s game.

“I said to them: ‘We’re not going to make this weird. We’re here to play. We’re here to do a job. Show up and do your job,’ ” he said. “Hopefully we built up enough mental resolve — that’s kind of been the task at going along with this thing. We just got our tails kicked in Boston [on Wednesday], so definitely looking forward to how we respond, who has an edge about him tonight. … That piece of it, I’m looking forward to this group, the 10 guys that are going to play, to come out and hoop and play hard.”

Irving wasn’t the only big-name absence Saturday. The Nets’ Ben Simmons missed his fourth consecutive game with left knee soreness, and the Wizards’ Bradley Beal sat out with left foot soreness. Washington Coach Wes Unseld Jr. said Beal tweaked his foot when he landed on Portland’s Anfernee Simons during Friday’s loss to the Trail Blazers.