The Kyrie Irving saga is still in full swing with no exact timeline for his return, and it seems the whole situation might extend for a longer period of time. Many fans are showing support for Kyrie with the recent gatherings in front of the Barclays Center, but that didn't sit well with the Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai who called the fans 'hijackers.'
Protesters showed support for Kyrie
A week ago, a group of protesters got together in front of the Barclays Center to protest the Covid-19 mandates while showcasing their support for Kyrie Irving and his stance on the issue. There were many people with signs saying 'Stand with Kyrie,' and a few of them even tried to make their way into the Barclays Center, but the security guards stopped them at the entrance. There was a lot of pushing around, but luckily the situation didn't escalate.
Nets owner Joe Tsai condemned the protesters, calling them hijackers, saying people are making it seem like a political issue when it's actually not.
"I just think that it's cavalier for people to hijack something like this when life and death is at stake," Tsai said. "People shouldn't make it into a political issue. So when you see protestors, they're definitely making a political statement. These guys are not basketball fans. They could care less whether someone is on the court playing or not.
Joe Tsai blasts the protesters
Tsai also mentioned the importance of getting the vaccine to stop the spread of the disease, saying it's a life or death situation that everyone should take more seriously than they are at the moment.
"They're hijacking the issue, but it's dangerous because we have a life and death situation. The fact is, if you are not vaccinated and you catch COVID, you have a much higher probability of getting very, very sick and end up in the ICU and possibly die. That's the consequence."
Tsai has been a major advocate of getting vaccinated and is urging everyone to get it. He mentioned how life is slowly but surely getting back to normal, which is a good thing for the economy and the NBA because fans have the opportunity to see games.
"I don't think it's a matter of belief," said Tsai, one of the co-founders, board of directors members, and executive vice-chairman of Alibaba Group. "I think it's a matter of fact. It's science.
We're now able to open up the economy, people are able to socialize, go to games, full capacity Barclays Center, because people are vaccinated. That is just a fact. I don't think it is a belief one way or the other."
There were reports of how Nets are listening to trade offers for Kyrie, and it seems they gave up on him completely. Whether they will trade him or not remains to be seen, but the fact is that they don't count on him anymore. Kyrie will be missed, and he is a crucial piece of the puzzle for the Nets if they want to win a championship this season. His future in the NBA is under many question marks, but we basketball fans hope to see him back on the court, even if it's not with the Nets because a player like him embodies everything that we love about the game of basketball.