Kyrie Irving's return to the court has been a controversial one. Irving famously refused to get vaccinated at the start of the season, thus ruling him out of home games due to New York's vaccine mandate. As a result, the Brooklyn Nets kept him out of the team until further notice.
They eventually brought him back into the fold as they suffered from a COVID-19 outbreak that kept most of their team sidelined. Irving would only be playing away games for the Brooklyn Nets, as he still hadn't gotten vaccinated, and the New York vaccine mandate had not changed.
The Nets are currently on a losing streak. Despite this, one NBA legend thinks that Irving should not be a part-time player, as it shows a lack of commitment, and that he should do the right thing and leave the Brooklyn Nets. O'Neal says that Irving is a part-time player, as he is not fully on board with the team's goal of winning an NBA championship.
“If you’re on my team and you can’t play home games, I don’t want you around. Like, we have a chance to win and if you ain’t on the program, go somewhere else, period.”
Irving has missed a lot of games for the Nets. In fact, James Harden, who joined the Brooklyn Nets 451 days after Kyrie Irving, has played more minutes for the franchise overall. Clearly, Irving has proven unreliable for Brooklyn, despite his incredible talent. Irving can't play half their games, especially during the playoffs, as it would disrupt the team's chemistry.
Irving's return has not invigorated the Nets as they had hoped. In fact, the Nets are currently on an 8-game losing streak. Nets' big man Blake Griffin recently said that the panic levels are quite high right now, as the Nets are in a poor slump of form without Kevin Durant, who is currently out injured.