Kyrie Irving has not played for the Brooklyn Nets this season.
Despite the title aspirations that his squad came into the year with, one major overarching issue has prevented Irving’s presence: his COVID-19 vaccination status.
Irving refuses to get his shots, and as per New York mandates, that precludes him from participating in the Nets’ home games. The front office refused to let him only play in away games – leading to the current stalemate that exists between player and team.
Without Irving Brooklyn has 15-6 record and sits atop the Eastern Conference.
This week, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that there is really only one condition under which Irving would return to the basketball court this year.
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) December 2, 2021
“[Irving’s] not anywhere closer to getting the vaccine,” Charania said. “So if he’s not gonna get the vaccine, at the end of the day, he’s not gonna play basketball unless he gets traded.
“Unless the Nets come out suddenly and say, ‘Fine, Kyrie, we’re gonna let you play road games and practice at home, we’re changing our stance. We’re gonna now let you come back’ Or, unless Kyrie Irving goes and decides to get the shot, there’s not really an end in sight here.”
Earlier this week a report emerged about the Nets’ attempt to trade Irving.
Barring something occurring on that front – it’s hard to see this situation changing for the better any time soon.
All in all, Irving’s strong position on the COVID-19 vaccine has had a lot of consequences. His association with the Nets is in tatters, and his friendship with teammate Kevin Durant is in a questionable at best place at the moment. James Harden’s recent statements regarding Irving are self-explanatory.
Kliff Kingsbury is winning both on and off the field. https://t.co/FbiGQ5tfYT
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 3, 2021
Irving was supposed to be a prominent piece of a championship puzzle this year. Based on how things are going, though – if the Nets do ultimately win a title, it’ll have to be without him.