The main storyline of the Brooklyn Nets 2021-22 season has been Kyrie Irving’s refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19, as he is not allowed to play home games due to New York City’s mandates. Nearly halfway through the season, this situation still leaves a dark cloud over the organization.
The Nets currently sit at No. 2 in the Eastern Conference, but they have not looked great as of late. Along with losing their last 5 home games and four of their last five overall, the Nets got blasted by Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks last night 121-109, the team they got bounced by in last year’s playoffs.
The game prior, on Wednesday (Jan. 5), the Nets pulled off a dramatic 19-point comeback in Indiana against the Pacers, thanks to Kyrie Irving’s 22-point performance. It was Kyrie’s first game since Brooklyn ended his suspension from the start of the season and allowed him to play in road games, since there is no vaccine mandate at many other teams’ arenas.
Fans still have questions though, and Kevin Durant had to answer them last night. After their abysmal performance against the Bucks, reporters asked KD if he had discussed with Kyire about getting vaccinated so he could play at home games as well, as the Nets are 10-10 at home this season. Durant said he would never force a vaccine upon anybody, but wants Kyrie back full-time desperately: “I told him how important he is, how much I want him to play — play every game. But I’m not about to force somebody to get a vaccine, like that’s not my thing. So he can play basketball? Nah, I’m not about to do that.”
He continued by saying he is confident Kyrie will be fully back sometime down the road: “We’ve had conversations about wanting him to be a part of the team and conversations about him being here full-time, but that’s on his time. Whatever decision he want to make, he’s going to make. It’s on us to be professionals no matter what, and do our jobs. All of us — from the owner down to the equipment manager — so whenever he ready, he’ll be ready.”
James Harden gave a more quaint response when asked if he had talked to Kyrie about getting vaccinated to be. full-time player: “He knows that.”
Do you think Irving should stand his ground and not get vaccinated?