Kyrie Irving is returning to the Brooklyn Nets after having sat out the entirety of the 2021 NBA season thus far.
His highly-anticipated debut date is set and all pieces are ready to go for his big comeback.
That said, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing.
In fact, behind the scenes, everything has been a little crazy since Brooklyn announced they’d permit him to be a part-time player for the Nets.
According to Matt Sullivan of Rolling Stone, the leadup to Irving’s big return has been fairly chaotic. Moreover, he seems to have zero intention of getting vaccinated.
“As Irving continues to test his way back toward Brooklyn Nets HQ this week, ‘it’s been pretty intense with safety protocols,’ a team staffer who will be on the court with him tells RS.
“Irving is putting himself at risk, after all, and none of the dozen-plus sources contacted for this story indicated that Irving has any plans to get vaccinated, ever. The Nets did not immediately respond to a detailed list of questions, and Irving’s managers did not respond to multiple voicemails this week,” the report continued.
“The office of the mayor-elect Eric Adams maintains that the city’s new leader does not expect to reverse the law against home-team vaccine deniers.”
It’s worth remembering that Irving has previously expressed a willingness to get vaccinated – under one condition. That said, since the Nets have caved and acquiesced to his desire to be a part-time player, it remains to be seen if that offer still holds.
Paulina Gretzky knows how to celebrate a birthday right. https://t.co/luTTz3X5aB
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 21, 2021
James Harden’s recent comments regarding Irving were telling.
That said if he returns to form and helps the Nets win a title, it’s safe to assume that all his transgressions will be forgotten and forgiven by fans, teammates and the general public at large.