We now know that the Brooklyn Nets have decided to let Kyrie Irving return as a part-time player. Irving entered the health and safety protocols on Saturday and will have to test negative on consecutive days before he’s allowed to re-join the team.
Beyond the fact that he’s only allowed to play in road games, Irving’s going to have a completely different experience than his other teammates. Because he’s unvaccinated, he’ll face different restrictions.
Sean Marks spoke to the media on Saturday and outlined two major reasons why the Nets decided to bring Irving back. He mentioned the outbreak that has sidelined 10 of Brooklyn’s players, along with a heavy workload on the team’s star players.
If you only focus on what happens on the court, it makes sense to bring Irving back, even if it is just part-time. However, it’s what happens off of the court that makes things difficult.
Irving’s COVID-19 vaccine refusal is going to make the logistics of the rest of the season difficult for the Nets, and they don’t necessarily have a long-term plan. According to reports, the organization is hoping that their point guard changes his mind.
Brooklyn Nets reportedly hope that Kyrie Irving will get vaccinated.
For Irving’s safety, it makes sense why Brooklyn is hoping that he’ll get vaccinated. Some things are bigger than basketball, and staying safe amidst a pandemic is the top priority.
However, we all know that if Irving gets vaccinated, he’ll be allowed to play at Barclays Center.
According to Chris Mannix, the Nets are reportedly hoping that by allowing Irving back in the facility, he’ll be swayed to receive the vaccine within the first month. That makes sense because there’s a chance that once Irving returns, he’ll discover that he’s not satisfied by playing in away games only, especially once the playoffs begin.
Then again, Brooklyn shouldn’t be crossing its fingers waiting for that to happen. If it weren’t for the Nets easing up on their restrictions and allowing for Irving to return, he’d still be sitting at home, away from the team.
Irving has maintained his stance of his holdout over the vaccine. There’s no way to know for sure if he would’ve made it through the season without caving and getting vaccinated, but Brooklyn stepped in before it could get to that point. Knowing Irving, though, and his way of thinking, do you really think the Nets “hoping” he does a complete 180 on his perspective is something that’ll work out?
If the Nets think that they’ll be able to persuade Irving to get vaccinated in the first month that he’s back, they’re going to be disappointed. While it could happen, it’s far from a reasonable approach.
Although he’s almost “back,” the Irving rollercoaster is still going at full speed.