The Brooklyn Nets have decided to move on without Kyrie Irving. The point guard's decision not to take the COVID-19 vaccine has become an issue for the team. After they decided to move forward with or without the player, the picture is clear for everybody.
Kyrie initially asked reporters to respect his privacy since he'd try to work things out with the front office, but nothing changed, leading to this decision that won't allow the player to be a part-time worker.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst recently shed light on the timeline behind this decision. This all started in August when several players learned about the rules in New York City. Some worked things out with their teams and got vaccinated. Players from both Knicks and Nets got the shot except Kyrie.
Talking on The Rich Eisen Show, the writer said:
"The rule was passed by the mayor of New York, Bill De Blasio -- they knew there was a problem, and from what I understand, there was a handful of players on the Knicks and Nets who were unvaccinated when this law came down in August. And everybody knew this was a problem, they worked on it for weeks. Every other player for the Knicks and the Nets got vaccinated by the opening of training camp except Kyrie. Kyrie said and everybody said, 'it's not going to be a problem, don't worry about it.' They go out to San Diego [for training camp], Kyrie's able to do training camp; they have a meeting at Joe Tsai's, the billionaire owner home in La Jolla. Joe Tsai is very publicly pro-vaccine. He had Kyrie at his house, I’m sure the message was sent. Kyrie came back to New York and did not get vaccinated. So, they first said, 'Kyrie, we're not gonna move our practices, you can't practice with us.' Kyrie still did not get vaccinated. Then they said, 'Kyrie, we don't think that we're gonna necessarily be able to play you in away games, even though that's allowed, unless you get vaccinated.' Kyrie still didn't get vaccinated. And after three bites at the apple, Kyrie Irving struck out and they said, 'we're moving on without you.'"
Two months after the news saw the light, Kyrie is adamant that he won't get the vaccine. This obviously will hurt the Nets' chances to win the championship, but they're seemingly covered having James Harden on the roster.
The situation doesn't look promising for Kyrie. Brooklyn can move on without him and focus their attention on Kevin Durant and Harden. Trading him away isn't an option right now, but things could change in the upcoming months.