The Brooklyn Nets are entering the new NBA season as one of the favorites to win the NBA championship. The Nets have an incredible roster, led by their dominant trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving.
But the Nets do have concerns going into the new season. Most notably, Kyrie Irving's eligibility to play. Irving is reportedly skeptical to get vaccinated, and that could pose serious problems for the Nets. New York has imposed a vaccine mandate, meaning that Irving would not be eligible to play home games if he isn't vaccinated.
The Nets are hoping that Irving will take the vaccine, and expecting Kevin Durant, his close friend, to convince him to take it in order to make sure their season goes smoothly.
Nets owner Joe Tsai commented on Irving's hesitancy to take the vaccine and what impact it could have on the team. While he respect Irving's decision to keep his status private, he emphasized that the goal of the team is to win the championship, something all the players must be fully committed to.
“Kyrie talks about it as a sort of personal choice issue, which I respect. But we all need to not forget that our goal, what is our goal this year…Whats our purpose this year? Its very very clear win a championship; and a championship team needs to have everybody pulling the same direction. So I hope to see Kyrie play fully and win a championship together with everybody else with all his teammates.”
Last season, the Nets were considered the standout favorites to win the NBA title. But injuries to all 3 stars at different points in the season, especially during the playoffs, derailed their momentum and led to them losing to the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2nd round of the NBA playoffs.
The Nets have what could go down as the greatest offensive trio in the history of the league. KD, Harden, and Kyrie are 3 of the most skilled players in the league today and have proven that they can combine very well with each other and dominate opposition defenses during games.
Losing 1/3rd of that trio could be a significant detriment to their title hopes next season, especially given how the rest of the league has built their teams. But if Irving does take the vaccine, the Nets will breathe a collective sigh of relief.