Videos by OutKick
Kyrie Irving is still only allowed to play in NBA games outside Brooklyn and New York City, and from the sounds of things, the Nets star is just fine with it.
Irving reaffirmed his stance that he doesn’t intend to get vaccinated after being pressed by the media in Cleveland on Monday, following the Nets’ 114-107 loss to the Cavaliers.
“I’m not bringing science into it,” Irving said. “I’m staying rooted in what I believe in.”
Irving, 29, remains one of the Nets’ three most important players, probably second behind forward Kevin Durant but ahead of fellow guard James Harden. There are few things Irving cannot do with the basketball. He is half point guard, half magician, bringing the Harlem Globetrotters old magic tricks to the modern NBA.
But he can only do all that half the time, given New York’s vaccine mandate. So not only can he not play in home games, he can’t play in road games at Madison Square Garden. He also won’t be eligible to play in game at Toronto vs. the Raptors.
Still, Irving is determined to stick to his beliefs, what the media (and even the Nets) want be darned.
“I am doing what’s best for me. I know the consequences here and if it means that I’m judged and demonized for that, that’s just what it is,” Irving said in an Instagram Live post before the season. “That’s the role I play, but I never wanted to give up my passion, my love, my dream just over this mandate.”
One thing is very clear after listening to Kyrie speak postgame today: There is nothing that is going to make him change his mind regarding the vaccine. He’s made up his mind — he’s not going to take it.— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) January 17, 2022
The Nets initially announced they would not allow Irving to play just part of the time. But given that multiple vaccinated players leaguewide still tested positive for COVID-19, the team was left with little choice. Part-time Irving is better than no Irving, the Nets finally seemed to say.
Nonetheless, Irving is sure to continue to take grief for sticking with what he believes. Especially since what he believes isn’t in line with what the mainstream media fervently supports.
Then again, a lot of players have come out in support of Irving sticking to his guns.
“Extremely proud of you bro!” former NBA guard J.R. Smith tweeted, tagging Irving, prior to the season.
Added Durant, “He’s a special player and person and we want him to be part of this group. But a lot of stuff’s out of our control. We’ll let him figure that out for himself. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to say I don’t want him on the team. He’s a huge part of what we do.”
Irving, 29, is averaging 17.7 points and 5.0 rebounds in three appearances so far this season.
5 CommentsLeave a Reply
Proud of him.
Good for him. We needed about 100 more guys in all sports standing up like this.
When you’re surrounded by crazy people then I guess your sanity makes you seem like the oddball.
Yep, good for him. The abuse Novic is getting for basically doing the same thing is appalling.
Just leave the guy alone young strong athletes are not at risk smh