Kyrie Irving is one of the best point guards in the league when healthy, as he is a top-tier scorer and shot creator. He averaged 27.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 5.9 APG for the Brooklyn Nets this season.
Despite his talent, it seems as though Kyrie Irving consistently finds himself in some sort of controversy. This year, the controversy was due to him being a part-time player, as he was unable to play because he was unvaccinated for the COVID-19 virus.
Recently, it was revealed that the Brooklyn Nets actually hired a lobbyist to try and push NYC mayor Eric Adams towards changing the law to let Kyrie Irving be a full-time player. The lobbying went on for "a few weeks", before Adams eventually lifted the restrictions against unvaccinated players. Josh Kosman and Brian Lewis of the New York Post relayed the news.
It’s clear the mandate change and Irving’s stance put an end to those title hopes. Sitting second in the East on Jan. 15, the Nets dropped 16 of 21 after Durant suffered a left knee injury. They fell to eighth by the time he returned six weeks later — and Tsai took action.
On Feb. 6, Irving said, “Anything can happen these next few days, the next week. Just crossing my fingers that something can come up either before All-Star break or even just after.” Two days later — with the Nets on an eight-game losing skid — they hired ex-New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson to lobby new Mayor Eric Adams about changing the mandate so Irving could play at home.
After the Nets had lacked the time or possibly the interest in lobbying de Blasio, financial records show they agreed to spend $18,000 a month on lobbying Adams for 18 months. That lobbying, though, ended after a few weeks when Adams lifted the restrictions against unvaccinated players, according to a source.
There is no doubt that Kyrie Irving, being a part-time player, derailed the Brooklyn Nets' season. They were swept in the first round by the Boston Celtics and were the only team to not win a single playoff game.
Hopefully, we see Kyrie Irving play a full season next year. There is no doubt that he is an amazing player to watch, but availability will be key for him, and we'll see if he is able to suit up for most of the games next season.