Kyrie Irving’s drama is peaking, and things don’t look good for the Brooklyn Nets. With Irving reportedly unvaccinated and reluctant to get the COVID-19 vaccine, the chances were the all-star security guard might not be able to play in all home games. Now head coach Steve Nash confirms the worst fears of the fans.
Steve Nash confirms worst case scenario for Kyrie Irving and Brooklyn Nets
With just over a week to go into the regular season, Nash spoke to the media about Irving’s status on the team. And the news was more or less what many expected … and feared.
“I think we realize he doesn’t play home games,” said Nash called. We’ll definitely have to play without him this year. So it just depends on when, where and how much. ”
According to current New York City health regulations, those not vaccinated against the coronavirus cannot attend large indoor events, gyms, or fitness facilities. That includes playing professional basketball at the Barclays Center, the home arena of the Nets.
While planning Nash for a life without Kyrie comes as no big surprise, it’s a different tune from the franchise just recently. During Nets Media Day, General Manager Sean Marks told reporters, “I’m not going to go into who it is, but we are confident that everyone will be able to attend in the days ahead before camp and so on.”
Fortunately, the seven-time All-Star can still train at the team’s facility in Brooklyn. Irving returned to the Nets Saturday afternoon after not being on the team since Monday.
Kyrie is currently checking to see if he’ll miss half of his team’s games. He also faces a potential loss of millions of dollars if he continues to miss games. But the 29-year-old doesn’t seem to be changing his mood anytime soon.
“I appreciate your question, brother,” said Irving when asked about the vaccine during his remote interview on media day. “Honestly, I like keeping this stuff private, man. … Well, you know, of course I can’t be there today. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t set any limits to my future being able to join the team. ”
While he’s not talking directly about his status, social media does reveal his potential feelings. Recently, Irving began following and liking Instagram posts by a conspiracy theorist who claimed that “secret societies” were implanting vaccines as “a plan of Satan.”
The good news in Brooklyn is that Irving could change his mind, get the vaccine, and play at home. The bad news is, no one knows when or if that would happen.
One of the Nets’ downsides last season was the lack of time each of their stars spent together on the pitch. On the way to the playoffs, Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden started five games together. Shockingly, Brooklyn only had one start that was on the pitch for more than four games throughout the season, and Durant wasn’t even there.
Now Nash has to juggle the lineups again. One night, Irving will be in his natural place with the point guard, dictating the offense as needed. But the next evening he is not only unable to play, but also not with the team. It would be a surprise if Brooklyn’s chemistry, both on and off the pitch, didn’t suffer the longer it goes on.
“At least he can practice, but we want him here for the whole thing,” said Durant. “We want him here for games, home games, training, away games, shootouts, everything. Hopefully we’ll find out about this. ”
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