If the Brooklyn Nets that destroyed Chicago on Wednesday show up to play that way in every game for the remainder of the year, they’re not going to lose again. The 138-112 win marked only the 16th time that Brooklyn’s Big Three have played in a game together, and for now, Kyrie Irving’s part-time status prohibits him from playing in home games.
There are holes in New York’s executive order, and while in theory, it seems as if Brooklyn can simply pay a recurring fine, that can’t happen.
The ball is still in Irving’s court. He needs to either get vaccinated, or continue to sit at home and watch the Nets play games in New York, San Francisco, and Toronto on television.
The Brooklyn Nets can’t pay a fine for Kyrie Irving to play in home games.
There was only one bad takeaway from Brooklyn’s game on Wednesday night, and it’s that as of right now, the version of that team can’t show up on a nightly basis. The Nets play again on Thursday, but since the game is in New York, Irving can’t play.
Brooklyn hasn’t given up hope, though. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the organization’s still holding onto the hope that Irving will become a full-time player this season.
Now that Irving’s gotten a taste of what it’s like to play in games with the Nets again, it’s hard to believe that he’s content with not being able to play in home contests. Irving’s a competitor, and given how well the team meshed together against the Bulls, it has to be even more difficult for him to watch from afar.
James Harden is ready for Irving to be back full-time, too. When Harden was asked if he’s hopeful that his teammate will be able to play in all of Brooklyn’s games, he decided to respond with humor.
After the Nets lost to the Bucks on Jan. 7, Kevin Durant weighed in on Irving’s vaccination status.
“I told him how important he is, how much I want him to play every game,” Durant said in his postgame press conference. “But I’m not about to force somebody to get a vaccine, like that’s not my thing. So he can play basketball? Nah, I’m not about to do that.”
Irving’s had to at least speculate about what it’d be like to re-join the team full-time. And based on how Brooklyn played on Wednesday, the other 29 teams in the league should be fearful about the 29-year-old potentially becoming a full-time participant.
In the meantime, the main topic of conversation for the Nets will continue to revolve around Irving’s vaccination status. Although he’s back (sort of), the only way that subject will cease is if the point guard changes his mind.