Being an NBA champion and a superstar doesn’t mean a thing, especially when it comes to rules on safety amid a global pandemic, as Kyrie Irving learned the hard way. Now, he is back with the Brooklyn Nets and shared what it was like being away from the game for so long.
“I knew the consequences. I wasn’t prepared for them”
Irving is now back with the Nets after being left out of the team for about three months. He has not featured in any home or away games because of his continued refusal to take the vaccines. Irving cleared that he is not against vaccinations, but he has reservations about their long-term effects. It was reported before the former Cleveland Cavalier player was open to getting plant-based vaccines should they become available.
It remains to be seen when Kyrie will finally play, but for sure, it will be in NBA arenas where players are not required to be vaccinated. Due to city mandates, he can’t play in home games, Toronto, and Madison Square Garden.
In a Basketball News report citing a tweet from Kristian Winfield, Irving claimed everything happened beyond his expectations.
"I knew the consequences. I wasn’t prepared for them by any stretch of the imagination.”
Irving knew what he was getting into. He is already a millionaire who could retire anytime and still have a secured future. His stand on vaccination got a strong response from those who advocate it but also support from people who call for bodily autonomy. The 29-year-old probably thought he had enough clout in the league to force the Nets to play him despite his refusal to take the jab. He has clout, not just enough for Brooklyn to mend its own rules until Covid related hardship made them rethink their plans.
Nets biting the bullet
The Nets missed as many as ten players due to league health and safety protocols. The NBA allowed teams to sign players to 10-day contracts under hardship rule. However, getting players outside the team may mean more harm than good. For the title-seeking Nets, they know the championship window will not be open for a long time.
The front office changed stance on Irving reflects their desire to win now. Despite freezing Irving out of the rotation early in the season, the team is now forced to make some drastic changes. They have to adapt to the situation. Having Kyrie in the lineup gives them higher chances of winning and better positioning in the standing. When teams are hobbling to play games, the ones with complete players get the best chance of making the playoffs.
Irving gets a chance to prove his worth, and he better deliver because Brooklyn Nets bit the bullet to get to their goal of winning a championship this season.