Giannis wouldn't pressure Kyire
The Bucks snatched a convincing 121-109 win against the Nets last night in which the Bucks looked like the team from last year that won the championship. They played great team basketball, and the Nets had to once again play against Kyrie Irving after his season debut against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday. The situation with Irving has been a well-known and talked-about topic around the NBA since the start of the season, and Giannis is also the one who respects Irving's decision.
Giannis understands these types of decisions are personal more than anything else and that everyone should make the best decision for themselves and their family. After careful consideration, Giannis took the vaccine because he thought it made the most sense, but he would never pressure Kyrie to do the same.
"When it comes to basketball, I feel like I can talk to them. When it comes to a personal decision like that, it's … I've got to let them make their decision. They're grown men. You know, and every situation is different. I cannot pressure somebody to do something that he doesn't feel comfortable doing. I can tell you why I did it. Why I felt comfortable doing it. To protect my family, to protect my mom and stuff, stay safe, and you just hope he understands that. But if he doesn't want to do it, I can't keep pressuring him."
The Nets are focused on the championship
This season, the Nets are in a tough situation without Kyrie, even though they are currently the second-best team in the eastern conference. Not having one of the best players for an entire season or having him playing in limited games definitely wasn't something they were expecting, and Kyrie was seen as a problem within their organization because he refused to take the vaccine. Giannis, however, believes everyone on the Nets can't be distracted by this when the championship is on the line, so that is why they are not pressuring Kyrie anymore.
"I've got to focus on myself and come every day and do my job, because that's what I get paid to do. I don't know what relationship they have, what kind of relationship they have. They probably have talked to him, but they cannot keep on pressuring him to do something he doesn't feel comfortable because it takes so much energy and takes energy away from basketball. That why we're here."
The Nets have decided to use Kyrie in every possible game, which means only in away games against teams where vaccine mandates are not in place. That, unfortunately, limits Kyrie's playing time, but the Nets realized leaving Kyrie on the bench is way expensive, and it makes more sense to at least have him play in the possible away games. He made it clear he will only take a plant-based vaccine, which might come to the market sooner or later, which means Kyrie and the Nets are currently stuck with each other. Whether that will reflect on their chances of winning a championship remains to be seen, but it's for sure not making things easy for them.