While James Harden, Kevin Durant, and the Brooklyn Nets press onward in their quest to take home a championship this season, Kyrie Irving appears ready to dig in his heels and refuse the chance to suit up for the squad this season.
Irving is still not vaccinated, and it doesn’t look like he’s going to be back on the Barclays Center floor soon, despite recently-swirling rumors about new NYC Mayor Eric Adams.
Rather than be a part-time player who would only play games on the road due to New York City’s requirement for COVID-19 vaccines to participate in indoor activities, Irving was deactivated by the team.
The Nets will miss his skills, but they won’t let him hold the team hostage.
Surprisingly, fans that still want to see Irving uncork his unique blend of handles, shooting, and speed might be in luck. The 2022 All-Star Game will take place in Cleveland this year, and some technicalities could lead to Irving suiting up in this game.
Per Brian Lewis of the New York Post, Irving is going to be included on the 2022 NBA All-Star ballot when it is released. While he could technically play in this game and no others, as it is not a Nets contest and Cleveland doesn’t have an indoor vaccine mandate, is this the best situation?
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving may play in the All-Star Game.
Would fans really be on board with Kyrie essentially being rewarded despite not playing a single game this season? Irving can sit the whole season out, yet still collect a potential All-Star bonus as the result of a nationwide troll?
Furthermore, if Irving is nominated due to either what he has done in the past or fans who agree with the rationale behind his decision to sit out, wouldn’t that take a spot away from a deserving player? The All-Star Game might not be the holiest institution in the sporting world, but that might get some players steaming.
While it looked like the Nets were going to fall into a calamitous slide without Kyrie early in the season, they have since picked up the pace on both ends of the floor in his absence. If he wants to stay unvaccinated and play one game in Cleveland, that’s his choice. Still, the Nets appear to be missing him less and less.
The Nets need to remove Irving from their vocabulary until he decides to rejoin the team. Brooklyn fans — or America’s devious little army of “non-sheep” — sending him to the All-Star Game would be a fruitless exercise.
As unlikely as it sounds, Nets fans who are the praying type need to continue hoping that Kyrie comes to his senses.