A couple of months after the Brooklyn Nets announced they wouldn't allow Kyrie Irving to be a part-time player, the team has overturned that decision amid a COVID-19 outbreak around the league.
Kyrie's refusal to take the vaccine earned him a lot of criticism, and the Nets' decision of welcoming him back drew a similar reaction from fans and analysts. Team owner Joe Tsai said he didn't intend to make Kyrie's situation a political issue, adding that he wants to win the championship more than anything else.
Still, nobody seems to be happy with this decision. Recently, Shaquille O'Neal called out the team for bringing Kyrie back, claiming they don't need the point guard since they are the top seed in the Eastern Conference. They've done pretty well so far, so Shaq doesn't think the Nets made the right call (0:33).
"I hate when people make a big stand about what they gonna do. 'Oh Kyrie if you not all in don't even come," the Big Diesel said on 'The Big Podcast with Shaq.'
"The Brooklyn Nets organization, 'oh if you won't be all in, blah blah blah blah blah, don't even come around. Now, since the covid come up and a couple of guys are out, oh, we'll let you play Mr. Kyrie. You can do this Kyrie, you can do that Kyrie. I don't respect that."
"They panicked for no reason. They sound like they are No. 7 in the league. You in first place, dummies. You don't need him."
Many people believe Kyrie is the missing piece for the Nets, especially with James Harden's struggles during the first two months of competition. The Beard is still figuring out his role on the team, and having Kyrie back on the court would make things easier for everybody. Then again, Brooklyn ranks 1st in the East, so it's not like they're underperforming.
According to Shams Charania, Irving could return in the first half of January. His presence will surely boost the Nets' chances to come out of the East, but not everybody is happy with the organization's contradicting statements.