The Brooklyn Nets fared quite well without Kyrie Irving during the first half of the season. They boasted one of the most explosive offenses in the NBA, and Kevin Durant was playing at an MVP level from day one.
The league's massive COVID-19 outbreak, however, changed everything. The Nets decided to give Irving the chance to play on the road, as it would be easier than filling up the roster with 10-day contracts.
Irving's comeback hasn't exactly meant good news for the Nets, as they've failed to live up to the expectations as of late and are coming off a big loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Irving, however, isn't too concerned about this mini-slump or Durant's knee injury.
Kyrie Irving Isn't Worried About The Nets
“Our time’s coming. It’s coming," Irving said after the loss. “It may not be now but I definitely feel like some of these things that happen are for a reason and it’s for a bigger purpose and we’ll see what happens.”
Irving Won't Get The Vaccine Despite Kevin Durant's Injury
But even if he's not worried, not having Durant for 4-6 weeks is a massive blow. That's why ome people questioned whether Irving would backpedal on his stance and get the vaccine to help his team.
“What I’m trying to better articulate is I’m not bringing science into the basketball game,” Irving said. “Everyone’s feeling what’s going on in the real world. I’m walking around as an unvaccinated person, sort of saying I’ve already been separated into another group of the community now I’m just saying to everybody ‘I’m human, I have decisions to make, I have a family to take care of.’ There are things that are just as important to me as being great at the game of basketball or leaving a legacy, so I think to answer your question, it’s just the reality of where the world is in the present state, you see there are more boosters, and there are people getting fired for being unvaccinated. We’re all dealing with it, we’re all feeling it.”
The All-Star guard once again advocated for personal choices and freedom, stating that getting the vaccine doesn't prevent people from getting sick, and stating that he only wants to give people hope:
“My message has always been I respect what everyone else is doing with their bodies, I respect what everyone else is doing in terms of their livelihoods, and I’m here to support," the former champion added. "But what’s going on with me is I’m taking it one day at a time, that’s it. Nothing is guaranteed in this world right now, so people are getting sick left and right. For me, I’m just trying to be a person that’s being a beacon of hope and light and just trying to shed as much as I can on the situation without talking myself up into more."
Long story short, the league's favorite troublemaker rambled around for minutes just to eventually clarify that he has no intention whatsoever of getting vaccinated despite the recent turn of events:
“I just don’t want to bring science into this and it always gets wrapped up into I’m asked questions all the time about ‘what’s my status’ and I’m like man if you were in my position it would be easy for someone to say well ‘why don’t you just get vaccinated’ but you’re not. And that’s just the reality of it and I’ve made my decision already and I’m standing on it," Kyrie concluded.
Even so, the Nets could feature Kyrie on home games and pay a small fine if they wanted to. And, while they haven't talked about that possibility, it's hard to think that they won't do it if they struggle without Durant or in the playoffs.