Still, unvaccinated Kyrie Irving is back, well, sort of, and now he is finally talking to the press again.
Brooklyn Nets All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving is days away from returning, much to the chagrin of Stephen A. Smith, and he is finally opening up about returning to his team and hitting the practice floor. Irving was benched indefinitely for most of the season due to his stubbornness to get vaccinated, and at the time, the Nets were unwilling to allow him to be a “part-time” player.
New York City’s vaccine mandate prohibits Irving from setting foot in the Barclay’s Arena, but the team blinked due to the Nets COVID-19 outbreak and decided to bring him back for road games only. The virus quickly halted his return because he, too, ended up the league’s health and safety protocols. Now in the clear, he is happy to be suiting up for the Nets.
Irving, who values his privacy, especially regarding “personal matters” like getting vaccinated (which is not a personal matter in a pandemic), spoke with the press about hitting the practice floor. The New York Post’s Brian Litter shared what incredibly woke hooper had to say, revealing Irving said he “missed” being on the NBA hardwood. “Last night, I could barely sleep. I’m like, man. I just don’t want to come out and not be who I know I am as a player…(My) heart racing and just not being nervous and touching the basketball again, and just the rhythm of the game. I missed it,” Irving said.
Irving also revealed that he “respected” the Nets and general manager Sean Marks’ decision to bench him. “I understood their decision, and I respected it. I really had to sit back and try not to become too emotionally attached to what they were deciding to do. I had to sit down and really evaluate things and see it from their perspective,” he added.
After a successful west coast trip that saw the Kevin Durant-less Nets easily beat both the Lakers and Clippers, the team will head home for a Thursday matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers that will see the return of Kevin Durant, who also just cleared the COVID-19 protocols. Since Irving will not be suiting up in a home matchup, many expect Irving to make his Nets debut when the team takes on the Indiana Pacers on January 5.
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