Shams Charania update claims Kyrie Irving not close to rejoining Nets

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 03: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 03: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets might be managing to pile up the wins thanks to Kevin Durant and James Harden, but the absence of Kyrie Irving is preventing the offense from really taking off. Irving has not played a game for the Nets this season due to his refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

To abide by New York City’s regulations that bar the unvaccinated from participating in indoor activities like basketball, the Nets have chosen to put Irving on the shelf. With no trade in sight and Irving missing all of these games, Brooklyn has been stuck with both a depreciating asset and an albatross contract.

A good chunk of Nets fans may be irate at Irving for his petulance, but they may forgive him if he returns to the floor and starts dominating once again. Unfortunately, according to Shams Charania, Brooklyn fans shouldn’t expect to see No. 11 make his return to the floor anytime soon.

Appearing on The Pat McAfee Show, Charania claims that Irving is “nowhere closer” to getting vaccinated. With Charania hinting that New York City’s restrictions for the unvaccinated are likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future, the insider hinted Irving is only going to play basketball if he gets traded away.

The Brooklyn Nets won’t see Kyrie Irving return anytime soon.

Despite some uncertainty surrounding the vaccine mandates due to newly-elected mayor Eric Adams claiming that he will revisit this issue, his subsequent decision to not change anything about the mandates extinguished any hope about a non-vaccinated Irving returning to the team.

The NBA is now requiring players who have not received a booster shot to be subject to game day testing. Team personnel who do not get the booster shot are also going to lose their Tier 1 status. With even more COVID-19 protocols in place, Irving faces an even longer road back to Brooklyn.

The Nets have managed to adapt after some early-season struggles without Kyrie, as they are currently the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. However, anyone with a functioning brain would agree that Irving would help take this offense to another level.

The Nets don’t appear to be as desperate to get Irving back as they were when the season started. After all, Durant and Harden are a fearsome duo by themselves. As impossible as this statement may have sounded earlier in the season, Irving may just have played his final game with the Nets if he refuses to inoculate himself.