It appears that even a lifetime supply of virtual vixens won’t sway Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving to confirm whether he actually took the COVID-19 vaccine. As a result, the 7x NBA All-Star and 2012 Rookie of the Year was absent from Tuesday’s first home practice of the season, and Irving’s no-show has the organization concerned with regard to his future availability for any activities in New York City.
When head coach Steve Nash was questioned about when fans should expect to see Irving in the future, he told reporters he had “no further update” on the situation. “We support him,” Nash continued. “We’re here for him. If things change and there’s a resolution, we’re here for him.”
At the moment, New York and San Francisco are the two cities with explicit mandates that affect if their respective sports teams’ players can participate in home games. Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins initially filed for a religious exemption from having to take the shot. Still, his prayers were answered by neither The Big Guy Upstairs nor the NBA, and Wiggins eventually relented.
“I feel like the only options [were] to get vaccinated or not play in the NBA,” Wiggins said after the Warriors’ preseason opener versus the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night. “It was a tough decision. Hopefully, it works out in the long run, and in 10 years, I’m still healthy.”
Even Irving’s former Cavs teammate LeBron James took the vaccine, citing the protection of his family and friends as his reason. Nevertheless, it’s doubtful if other players’ decision to be inoculated will move Irving to do the same, particularly if the possibility of losing approximately $380K per game this season (which would add up to more than $15 million by the season’s end) hasn’t made him budge already.
But if left up to retired NBA great Shaquille O’Neal, the Nets might as well get him out of town. “I would go upstairs and say ‘get him up outta here. Get him up outta here,'” the Big Diesel said according to CBS Sports.”‘ We [the Nets] can win with the one-two punch [of Kevin Durant and James Harden], a great shooter, and the rebounders we have. Cause now every day, we have to answer questions about him and what he’s doing. Get his ass up outta here.’ Whoever owns the Brooklyn Nets, get him outta here!”
Twitter didn’t have the best reaction to Irving not wanting to get vaxxed up: