Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has been frequently mentioned by news outlets in recent memory, mostly due to concern about him missing 41 home games for the Brooklyn Nets. If Kyrie Irving doesn't end up complying with local vaccination laws, then he could end up being a part-time player for the Brooklyn Nets.
Missing any starter for a prolonged period of time is not good for any team. The Brooklyn Nets are a win-now team, and they have plenty of great veterans such as Paul Millsap, Blake Griffin, and LaMarcus Aldridge surrounding their star trio. While James Harden and Kevin Durant together are still a contender, the Nets without Kyrie Irving are no longer clear-cut favorites.
A recent report by Adrian Wojnarowski revealed that Kevin Durant and James Harden will be part of deciding whether Kyrie Irving will be allowed to be a part-time player for the Nets, along with governor Joe Tsai and GM Sean Marks. Wojnarowski stated that this "is a real moment of truth" for the Nets.
This is a real moment of truth for the Nets as an organization. And you look at their stakeholders there. Obviously, owner Joe Tsai and Sean Marks the general manager. But Kevin Durant and James Harden who have a tremendous voice in this.
They all together, they're going to be part of that decision about whether they're going to allow Kyrie Irving if he doesn't get vaccinated, and is ineligible to play home games, or play at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks. Are they going to let him be a part-time player. Are they going to let him in and out of the lineup the whole season. Miss games in the playoffs that are at home.
Or are they going to tell him that you're either gonna be a full-time player, without accepting 40 some odd games this season from you. We don't want the distraction. We need you to get vaccinated to play.
That's the question that's hanging over the Nets right now. And Kyrie Irving doesn't get vaccinated, and that's the decision they're gonna have to make. I think there's a lot riding on Kyrie's short-term future in Brooklyn but his long-term future.
There is no doubt that this is a big decision for the franchise, and it makes sense to involve Kevin Durant and James Harden in it. There are already some people such as Lakers legend Shaquille O'Neal, who have suggested that Kyrie Irving should be traded if he isn't able to play.
It remains to be seen what the Brooklyn Nets will end up doing about the Kyrie Irving situation. Obviously, he's a tremendous basketball player, but him being a "part-time player" would definitely hurt the team. Kyrie Irving being able to play is obviously the optimal scenario, but we'll see what ends up happening, and what solution the Nets' collective decision-makers will come up with.