Over the past few weeks, Kyrie Irving's refusal to comply with city mandates has gone from a mild inconvenience to a full-blown controversy.
With over 90% of NBA players having complied with protocol already, Irving is one of a small group of resisters. Of course, considering New York City's laws on the matter, Kyrie also has the most to lose.
As it stands, it'd be illegal for him to play in any of the team's home games, and the franchise has forbidden him from participating in any team-related activity until that changes.
As he continues to hold out, seemingly ready to miss an entire season, the NBA media has exploded with all sorts of takes and reactions -- most of which are aimed negatively towards Irving.
On the popular ESPN morning show, "First Take," things actually got a bit heated as show host Molly Qerim Rose gave her perspective on the crisis in Brooklyn:
“I think there’s two issues that stand out to me. One, he wants to be a voice for the voiceless, but we haven’t heard from him. So if you want to stand up, you have to speak out on these issues so we understand. We can’t just hear a story and we’re not even sure whether it’s true or not. And the other piece is that he’s upset about people losing their jobs but what about all the people that lost their lives during this pandemic?”
Molly's words definitely found the approval of viewers, who spoke out on social media to support her position.
It didn't end there, though. Jay Williams was also on First Take on Thursday, and he is one of the few who actually stands with Kyrie for his actions. After making a point about folks wanting Irving to be on their "timeline," Molly once again stole the show with her fiery response:
Williams: “I think one of the things that elevated the conversation yesterday was that everybody wants Kyrie Irving to be on their timeline.”
Molly: “Jay, when you referred to the timeline, the NBA season tips off in five days. We’re not making up some timeline, the NBA season starts. They're the favorites to win the Chip. And he's saying 'I'm not retiring and I'm not giving this game up for the vaccine.' Okay then what are you doing? Are you playing or not, that's what we want to know. So it's not that the media is creating this timeline, we're talking about him for no reason. We wanna know if he's gonna be out there on the court."
Kyrie tried to elaborate on his intentions during an Instagram Live session earlier this week, but it only did lead to more questions.
And as the season creeps closer, the story of Irving's absence will only continue to inspire arguments and debates from all sides of the aisle.