Shams Charania reported that The Brooklyn Nets have decided to sit Kyrie Irving until he is fully vaccinated. In the official statement made by Nets General Manager Sean Marks, the Nets made it clear that their championship aspirations have not changed but have decided that they will not entertain the idea of having players available part-time.
"Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a a full participant. Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose. Currently the choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our teams to participate with part-time availability." - Brooklyn Nets GM Sean Marks.
Brooklyn Nets Official Statement
The announcement from the Brooklyn Nets is a massive development in a predicament surrounding Kyrie Irving and other players not vaccinated against Covid-19. Other notable players who share Irving's beliefs are Washington Wizards' Bradley Beal and Orlando Magic's Jonathan Isaac, players who will be key members of their teams this coming season. The league has said numerous times that their vaccination status will impact their ability to participate in team activities and games in states with vaccine mandates, ensuring that NBA guidelines regarding vaccination align with that of the federal government guidelines.
Teams like the Nets were planning for the contingencies surrounding the part-time availability of some of its key players, but it is fair to say that no one might have envisioned the Brooklyn Nets to bite back the way they did on Tuesday morning. Brooklyn is the favorite to win the NBA title this year, largely due to their lethal big three of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving. The trio is arguably the greatest collection of scorers a team has ever fielded in the history of the NBA, but it seems similar to last season, NBA fans will not have the chance to witness Brooklyn's Big Three share the court unless Kyrie decides to get the vaccine.
Irving has taken a strong stance against mandatory vaccination, among other issues that feature heavily in American society today. Other players such as LeBron James and Andrew Wiggins have openly expressed reluctance to get the vaccine at some point in time. Still, they have since decided to get vaccinated in preparation for the 2021-2002 NBA season. However, it would be futile to expect the same course of action from Kyrie Irving, especially after a show of force from the Brooklyn Nets brass.
What do you think Kyrie will do next? Will he request to be traded or retire from basketball altogether? Your guess is as good as mine, but we would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.