Kyrie Irving's situation has taken a toll on the Brooklyn Nets' dynamic for this season. Essentially, he'll be a part-time player until (if) the vaccine mandate for athletes playing in New York is lifted.
Irving has his own take on the vaccine and even said that he and his close ones are protected by God against the virus, meaning he's not going to change his stance even if that costs him half of his salary.
With that in mind, his friend and co-star Kevin Durant opened up about how much he'd want him to be there full-time, even if that's not possible right now:
“That’s always tough when guys are in and out of the lineup, especially a starter like Kyrie. I don’t know exactly what the plan is going forward right now," Durant said, as quoted by Essentially Sports.
“I’m sure they’re still making decisions. That’s a better question for Steve (Nash), Sean (Marks), and Kyrie, and they’ll fill me in when they make a decision. I’m going to keep playing and keep focusing on what we’re focusing on in the locker room and once that gets figured out, we move forward," he added.
“At least he can practice, but we want him here for the whole thing. We want him here for games, home games, practices, away games, shootarounds, all of it. So, hopefully, we figure this thing out," the star forward concluded.
Coach Steve Nash admitted that the Nets will just have to get by without Kyrie during home games, pretty much confirming the fans' worst fears:
"I think we recognize he’s not playing home games. We’re going to have to for sure play without him this year. So it just depends on when, where and how much," coach Nash said.
If you want to have Kyrie Irving on your team, then you'll have to deal with the whole package. He's outspoken and stands by his word, for better or worse.
The Nets will still have a big shot to come out of the Eastern Conference with Durant and James Harden leading the way. But clearly, this situation is far from ideal.