Kyrie Irving had a turbulent season with the Brooklyn Nets. Irving started the season on the sidelines, as the vaccine mandate ruled him out of playing home games, and the Nets took quite some time before they allowed Irving to play away games.
The vaccine mandate was eventually lifted, allowing Irving to play all the games. But Kyrie Irving has admitted that the lack of playing time affected last year affected him greatly.
Kyrie Irving is set to be a guest on The ETCs podcast. In a preview clip from his episode, Irving reveals that he didn't feel like himself during the season.
Kyrie added that he wasn't sure what his future in the NBA was going to look like, and that weighed on his mind heavily. While Irving was grateful for the people in his life who kept him relaxed, the toll the season took on him resulted in a strange season for him.
“I never felt like I was back. There was nothing to lose. It was only the journey to enjoy at that point. I was sitting at home, wondering at home what my future was going to look like, whether I was going to get traded, whether I was going to be released, whether I was going to get an opportunity to be on another team. How I was going to spin this for myself in a positive way. I kept affirming to myself that things are going to change, people around me, I’m grateful to them for affirming that things were going to change. But I never felt like myself throughout the season because I’m usually sustaining a level of growth rather than trying to catch up with people who have been playing for 4-5 months. They been at it every day since October… September-October, I was still healing from my ankle injury, when we got to training camp in San Diego, I was not expecting a mandate to be brought down in a way that allowed me to not play at all. I had an opportunity to play away games still, there was no plan in place, no vision of how it was going to work for our team. I think that really impacted, not just me, but a lot of other people. Just had to sit in that hot seat for a little bit and deal with it.”
Kyrie did mention recently that the vaccine mandate and his availability across the season did become a distraction to him and the Nets. Now, Irving and the Nets will be focused on the offseason and preparing to make a championship run next year.
Irving admitted that he intends on staying with the Nets, wanting to continue playing with Kevin Durant. Irving could get a 5-year, $248 million deal, but the Nets may opt to offer Irving a 4-year contract instead.