Steve Nash won’t bend the team for Kyrie Irving
Due to Irving refusing to get vaccinated, the Nets superstar is still not allowed to play indoors in New York City arenas as part of the city’s COVID policies. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released his side on the matter and urged Uncle Drew to get the jab, as published in a report in Sidelines Sources.
There were suggestions that the team could choose to hold practices in Long Island or New Jersey so that Irving could join them, but Steve Nash has shut down all speculations in what could be his strongest statement on the situation.
Steve Nash said the Nets don’t plan to move practice out of their Brooklyn facility, to say…Long Island or New Jersey, in order to get Irving able to join them. “This is our home, this is where we’re going to practice.”— Alex Schiffer (@Alex__Schiffer) October 5, 2021
Neither Steve nor any other NBA head coach has not forced his players to take the vaccine, and Irving has the right to refuse it. But everyone should be held accountable for their decisions, and Nash remains adamant that the team won’t bend to accommodate Kyrie.
This season, Kyrie Irving is set to lose more than 50 percent of his salary if he still refuses to get vaccinated. He would also miss out on his per-game compensation of home games and some games in other cities where only vaccinated athletes can play.
How the Nets should move forward
The Brooklyn Nets can still win the NBA title without Irving, assuming all their other players remain healthy. Their chances to win one would go higher with Kyrie, but if the issue remains unsolved, the team should consider the worst-case scenario.
Fining Irving or removing his home-game salaries won’t do the trick, although it worked in the case of Andrew Wiggins, who finally got the COVID jab despite initially refusing to get one. If Irving continues to miss practices and games in the preseason, he should take the responsibility to catch up on his own terms. With the new additions to the roster, the players need time on the court together to build trust and chemistry. For Nash, it’s Kyrie who should adjust and not the team.