Videos by OutKick
Nets unvaccinated guard Kyrie Irving has a big supporter in the form of NBA Hall of Famer John Stockton.
In an appearance on the DNP-CD Sports podcast, Stockton said he was proud of Irving for sticking up for his beliefs.
“You have a lot of supporters Kyrie,” Stockton said. “Not all them of can get to you, and you can’t get to all of them, but there’s every bit a majority out there that’s sitting there pulling for you. They’re just not quite as bold as he is. I’m proud of him as an individual to take that kind of individual risk and be that bold for what you feel is right.”
Irving, 29, has yet to play this season. New York’s vaccine mandate prohibits unvaccinated people from taking part in large indoor gatherings such as NBA games. That makes Irving ineligible to play in the team’s 41 home games at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Irving, however, is eligible to play in most cities on the road but Nets owner Joseph Tsai remains steadfast he won’t play unless something changes. Back in October, Tsai told ESPN that he wasn’t sure if Irving would play for the Nets again.
“I don’t know,” Tsai said. “Either he has to be vaccinated in order to come back if the New York mandate is still in place. And don’t ask me when they may or may not change the New York mandate. Again, if you ask the people that are making decisions at the city level, they are going to say we are going to rely on science, rely on what the health department tells us [in order to proceed].”
Stockton, meanwhile, said he wouldn’t risk taking the vaccine in order to play.
“There’s not a chance I would risk any of that to play,” Stockton said. “My hope would be other guys would join in. And all of us lock arms. And none of us play.”
The Nets are currently 18-8 without Irving, first place in the Eastern Conference. In 2020-21, Irving averaged 26.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game.