Kyrie Irving is one of the NBA’s most talented players. Unfortunately, he also comes with a lot of baggage.
Most recently, the 29-year-old has indicated that he has no intention of getting a COVID-19 vaccine. This is problematic because New York requires pro athletes who practice or play indoors to show proof of at least one vaccine shot.
Should Irving continue to hold out, he will not be eligible to play in his team’s home games. Beyond that, he will also be fined an inordinate amount of money.
So is a resolution in sight?
No, in fact, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the situation between Irving and the Nets appears to be deteriorating.
“The Brooklyn Nets remain unclear on All-Star guard Kyrie Irving’s ultimate intentions to get vaccinated and have made no decision on whether the organization will accommodate him as a part-time player this season,” he reported.
“There had been previous optimism that Irving would get vaccinated and fulfill local governmental mandates allowing him to practice and play in New York this season, but that hope is waning and Irving’s continued resistance to vaccination has the Nets preparing for the possibility that they’ll be without him for home practices and games for the foreseeable future, sources told ESPN.
“If Irving remains unvaccinated, the Nets could be faced soon with a decision on whether they’ll allow Irving to come and go with the team in and out of New York — or just keep him sidelined all together, sources say.”
McKayla Maroney knows how to go viral. https://t.co/ugyzOr3RqA
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 5, 2021
Earlier in the offseason the Nets seriously contemplated including Irving in a blockbuster trade – only to have it vetoed by Kevin Durant.
Clearly a breaking point will be reached here sooner rather than later. Either Irving will acquiesce and do what the team needs of him, or he’s going to miss a substantial amount of time this season. And if that latter option becomes a reality, it wouldn’t be all that shocking to see Brooklyn go to extreme measures to either trade or punish arguably their second-best player.