Kyrie Irving’s decision to not get the COVID-19 vaccination sent shockwaves throughout the NBA.
Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden are the core of arguably the league’s most talented squad, but his precarious status has thrown a lot of things into flux.
New York requires pro athletes who practice or play indoors to show proof of at least one vaccine shot. That means if Irving remains unvaccinated, he will not be able to play in the Brooklyn Nets’ home games. Clearly that’s not ideal for a team that many believe is the front runner to win a championship in 2021-22.
Beyond that, though – this will also cost Irving a lot of money.
According to ESPN NBA insider Tim Bontemps, the NBA and the NBPA approved a decrease of 1/91.6th of a given star’s pay for each home outing he misses over being unvaccinated.
In the case of Irving, who is owed $34.9 million next year, that’s a hit of roughly $381,000 per game.
It will be interesting to see if Irving ultimately sticks to his convictions given the amount of money on the line. There has been a lot of chatter about how Durant is going to convince him to get the vaccine – but thus far nothing has come to fruition.
Now Urban Meyer’s wife is lashing out at him on social media.
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 5, 2021
It is something of an open secret at this point that the Nets’ front office is very annoyed by Irving and has wanted to trade him for a long time. They briefly eyed a blockbuster deal involving him recently, only to have it vetoed by Durant.
Given how frustrated they are by his actions, it’s safe to assume that they won’t by shy about fining Irving heavily when the time comes.
Related: How Jim Harbaugh Handled An ‘Urban Meyer Situation’