Brooklyn Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving has always faced a lot of scrutiny since entering the NBA. Whether it was as the sidekick to LeBron James, or for his numerous off-court comments. Now, the embattled star faces pressure to get vaccinated when he doesn’t want to.
Because of New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, Irving is facing the possibility of not being able to play in home games at the Barclays Center.
Obviously, with the Nets having championship aspirations, this would cause a major issue for the Nets. They have a stacked roster, but without one of their best players in Irving, the team likely can’t hang with the heavyweights of the league.
Since their training facility is a private office building located in Brooklyn, Irving will still be allowed to practice with his team. Although, with their season opener taking place on October 19 in Milwaukee, the Nets will have to figure out what their plan for the regular season is soon.
Could the drama create so much of an issue that the former Duke star gets traded? Possibly. However, Marc Stein reports some within the Association believe if Irving were to be traded away from the Nets, the talented guard would simply decide to retire instead.
If Irving were to retire, it wouldn’t be a complete shock. Despite the incredible abilities he’s worked so hard to refine, some have questioned his passion for basketball for whatever reason in the past. Though, it still seems like retirement would be a drastic measure.
Here’s hoping Irving and the league can come to a reasonable solution to keep one of their most popular stars around for several more seasons.
A similar situation already came to a conclusion with Andrew Wiggins recently deciding to get vaccinated. While it’s obvious his teammates would prefer to keep Irving around, we’ll see where this story goes next.