With training camp starting for all 30 NBA teams, all the biggest stars of the game have shown up and started preparing for the season with their respective teams. All except Kyrie Irving. The Brooklyn Nets point guard has become one of the biggest characters in the NBA over the past few years, as his unpredictable actions and sometimes confusing statements have completely changed Irving's brand. Kyrie is a free spirit and thinker that doesn't accept the opinions of others and focuses on himself.
Considering what kind of exceptional talent Irving is, the Nets have been fine with giving in to his demands and unexplainable stances. But now the situation got dramatic, as Kyrie is seriously endangering the Nets championships aspirations. The main topic of discussion in the NBA world lately has been the vaccination status of players and how that will affect their availability.
The vaccine mandate set by New York and San Francisco regions really put pressure on players from those teams, as Kyrie and Wiggins have been in the headlines with the spotlight on their heads. The Warriors forward gave in the other day and got vaccinated, but the Nets star is still not in the clear. If not vaccinated, Kyrie will be forced to miss all the home games this season and blow half of his yearly salary. That is definitely not in the interest of either side, as the Nets' championship aspirations largely depend on Kyrie being healthy and available to perform.
Unluckily for the Nets, Kyrie isn't in favor of getting the COVID-19 vaccine, resulting in Irving not showing up to camp. Apparently, he is comprehending and rethinking his decision privately, as no one in the team has any clue when or even if Kyrie will show up. Not even the head coach Steve Nash.
Knowing how invested Kyrie is in his beliefs, getting him to take one for the team and get the vaccine is highly unlikely, but considering he is looking to potentially lose out on $18,735,521, there could be hope. The Nets may have a super-team even without Kyrie, with KD and Harden on the court, but if they want to be the clear-cut favorite, they will need their Big 3 to finally form and shine in its brightest light.
All that drama has led to numerous analysts and fans advocating for a trade that would make Kyrie someone else's problem. If we were talking about Kyrie from his Cleveland days, Sean Marks' phone would be blowing up, but the reputation around Irving has made his trade value non-existent. Considering a report came out recently saying Kyrie would retire if traded certainly helped with that.
The Nets have their hands tied and can only hope Durant, a good friend of Irving, will be able to convince his point guard to report to the team and do the things necessary for his availability. It's definitely a fascinating situation that could dramatically shape up how the Nets will look this season.