Kyrie Irving, vaccinations and the Brooklyn Nets. That's been the hot topic in the NBA recently, especially with the uncertainty over the possibility that the guard could miss an indefinite amount of games if he maintains his stance on not getting vaccinated.
In a recent Instagram Live, Irving spoke about the situation, telling people not to believe that he was considering retirement and that people should pay attention to the "real world" where many are "losing jobs" because of vaccine mandates.
"Don't believe that I'm retiring. Don't believe that I'm gonna give up this game for a vaccine mandate or saying unvaccinated... Be aware of what's being said... All these people saying all these things about what's going on with me and it's not true. Pay attention to what's going on in the real world, people losing their jobs to these mandates. People are having to make choices with their own lives which I respect, I don't want to sit here and play on people's emotions either, just use logic. What would you do if you felt uncomfortable going into the season when you were promised you'd have exemptions."Do you think I really want to lose money? You think I really want to give up on my dream to go after a championship? You think I just really want to give up my job? You think I really just want to sit at home and not going after the things with my teammates that I have been able to grow with, learn with."
In parallel, the cameras panned to Kevin Durant and James Harden, the other two stars that make up the Nets powerful trident. The recent champion with USA Basketball at the Tokyo Olympics had remained silent, until now.
Kevin said on Thursday that he has not spoken to Irving since Tuesday's news of the Nets saying that he will not play or practice with the team, but he also explained that he "definitely wants Kyrie around," but also stating that "Kyrie made his decision.... and the team did the same."
In addition, Durant threw water on the fire and, according to Chris Milholen, explained what he thinks about it and how he is dealing with the situation that is keeping the NBA and, especially, the Nets on tenterhooks.
“What is being mad gonna do? It’s not gonna change his mind.”
Thursday will be the first official game of the 2021/22 season and everything seems to indicate that Kyrie will not be present. Milwaukee Bucks awaits on the opposite side of the court and the champions are looking to repeat what happened last season against a possible direct playoff rival.
Brooklyn will have Durant and Harden, who complemented each other well last season without Irving, as the point guard played 54 of the 82 games in the 2020/21 regular season.