The Brooklyn Nets can’t seem to catch a break. Just as the team reached a compromise with Kyrie Irving that permitted him to return to the fold, Kevin Durant got injured.
Durant is now slated to miss the next four to six weeks with a sprained medial collateral of the left knee. Given that he was averaging nearly 30 points per game on more than 50 percent shooting from the field, clearly Brooklyn has big shoes to fill.
The obvious question everyone had his week was whether Durant’s new injury would prompt Irving to examine his vaccination policy.
After all, per New York mandates, Irving is unable to participate in Nets home games because of his refusal to get vaccinated.
In a session with reporters, Irving addressed that question.
Kyrie Irving says the Nets’ injury situation won’t change his vaccination status:
“I’ve made my decision already and I’m standing on it.” pic.twitter.com/WtFO3FrXF2
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) January 17, 2022
“What I’m trying to better articulate is I’m not bringing science into the basketball game,” he said.
“Everyone’s feeling what’s going on in the real world. I’m walking around as an unvaccinated person, sort of saying I’ve already been separated into another group of the community now I’m just saying to everybody ‘I’m human, I have decisions to make, I have a family to take care of.’
“There are things that are just as important to me as being great at the game of basketball or leaving a legacy, so I think to answer your question, it’s just the reality of where the world is in the present state, you see there are more boosters, and there are people getting fired for being unvaccinated. We’re all dealing with it, we’re all feeling it.”
So there you have it. Irving will still continue to only be available to Nets for home games.
Obviously that puts a big onus on Harden to carry the squad – which may or may not have serious ramifications for his desire to stay in Brooklyn past this season.
Kliff Kingsbury is having a rough week. https://t.co/NonD3EtPmX
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 18, 2022
The Nets are going to be an intriguing team to watch. Either they’ll win a championship despite all the distractions and prove their doubters wrong. Or they’ll end up collapsing under the weight of all the troubles that constantly seem to plague the franchise.
Which will it be? Time will tell.