The Brooklyn Nets possess everything an NBA contender could want: elite playmakers and depth at various positions. They also have a strong coaching staff and a front office always looking for ways to improve the roster. However, one of their key pieces, all-star guard Kyrie Irving, has decided not to get the COVID-19 vaccination. This puts the team in an incredibly critical position, not to mention himself, the fans, and the league itself.
In July of 2019, Irving signed a 4-year deal with the Nets in free agency, and not long after, became a part of a superteam with the trio of guard Irving, forward Kevin Durant, and guard James Harden. The Brooklyn Nets punched a ticket to the conference semifinals last season until they were defeated by the hands of Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks, who went on to win the NBA Finals. If the Nets aspire to get back to title contender status, they are going to need all the help they can get. A big part of that help is Kyrie, and as of now, it looks like he will not be suiting up for the season this year as a result of his vaccination status.
In the state of New York, the city health code mandates at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot in order to enter indoor gyms. With Kyrie refusing to get the shot, this means he will not be able to attend any home games, practices, and two games against the New York Knicks under this mandate. Usually, this means he would be allowed to play away games where there is no mandate, however, the front office holds a different opinion.
General manager of the Nets, Sean Marks, released a statement on October 12th about the situation, stating that “given the evolving nature of the situation and after thorough deliberation, we have decided Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant.” Kyrie will either have to get vaccinated and participate in all of the games or not get vaccinated and play zero games.
This controversy is creating a unique scene in Brooklyn, leaving fans to sit and await his decision.
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