The Brooklyn Nets have been dominating the headlines of late, but it’s been for all the wrong reasons. As Steve Nash tries to get this team equipped to go on a run and win a championship, superstar guard Kyrie Irving all but confirmed that he wouldn’t be along for the ride.
With New York City requiring vaccinations to participate in indoor activities like, uh, NBA basketball, the Nets decided to put Irving on the shelf rather than accommodate him as a part-time player.
Irving has not yet been vaccinated due to some inane dot-connecting logic where he thinks that standing in solidarity with those who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 requirements will cause real change to happen on that front.
Irving tried to explain himself on Instagram Live, but he did little to win over his doubters. All he did was put a spotlight on the fact that his decision is potentially costing him tens of millions of dollars this season and jeopardizing his shot at earning a long-term extension.
The Nets appear to be ready to move on from the Irving drama, as everyone from his star counterparts in Kevin Durant and James Harden to his head coach in Nash are already talking about putting this in the past. Normally very warm with the media, Nash was very truculent when asked about No. 11 at week’s end.
Nash claimed that he didn’t tune in to Irving’s live stream on Instagram before very curtly reminding the press that he is done talking about someone who is not going to be around the team to help them win championships. That’s about as strong of a rebuke as possible.
Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash is done with Kyrie Irving talk.
Not only was Irving positioned for a prime role on the best offense in the league if he decided to get vaccinated and play this season, but he was coming off of the best offensive season of his career. The Nets only got a handful of games in which Irving, Durant, and Harden were all active, though they won most of those games.
Harden has agreed with most of his teammates and voiced his desire to see Kyrie eventually return to the fold. Harden has been a vocal advocate for Irving getting vaccinated, as he wants anyone and everyone that is able to help him grab that elusive first championship.
Durant is past the point of anger and has already arrived at acceptance. Durant insisted that being angry at someone that is as hardheaded as Kyrie is not going to change his mind. Instead, that energy should be channeled toward figuring out how to make the Nets into a championship team without Irving’s signature blend of scoring in the mix.
Irving has been called a “contrarian without cause” for dying on this hill and it’s hard to find fault in that. While Irving might fancy himself as a free thinker who is being turned into a martyr for some “unjust” mandates, he comes across as someone who is being incredibly selfish and narcissistic.
Yes, he donates to tons of worthy charities. That’s great! If you’re using that to justify being petulant like this, you’ve lost the plot. What he’s doing is costing himself a ton of money in the short and long-term while hampering his team’s chances of winning a title, all because of some questionable “research” on the vaccine.
Irving is certainly allowed to choose not to get vaccinated. However, the fact that he seemed so baffled that the Nets wouldn’t just let him play whenever he wanted and that thousands of Nets fans were attacking him for this decision is genuinely puzzling.