Kyrie Irving and his decision to not get vaccinated has put the NBA into a whirlwind. Irving and the Brooklyn Nets are the overwhelming favorites to win the NBA title, but that is all contingent on if his availability to the Nets. Irving will not be allowed to play home games at Barclays Center until he gets at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
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Kyrie Irving Wants To Be ‘Voice for the Voiceless’
Kyrie’s reluctance to get vaccinated has divided hoops fans into two groups. Those who believe that he should be vaccinated if it is required and those who believe it is his right to choose what he does with his body. But according to Shams Charania of “The Athletic”, Kyrie’s refusal of the vaccine is for a far deeper reason.
“Multiple sources with direct knowledge of Irving’s decision have told The Athletic that Irving is not anti-vaccine and that his stance is that he is upset that people are losing their jobs due to vaccine mandates. It’s a stance that Irving has explained to close teammates,” Charania writes.
“To him, this is about a grander fight than the one on the court and Irving is challenging a perceived control of society and people’s livelihood, according to sources with knowledge of Irving’s mindset. It is a decision that he believes he is capable to make given his current life dynamics. “Kyrie wants to be a voice for the voiceless,” one source said.”
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Nets Ban Kyrie From Team Activities Until He Is Vaccinated
For Irving, his gutsy decision to not get vaccinated will not come without consequence. Kyrie would be eligible to play away games with the Nets despite not being vaccinated. But the Nets made the strong decision to sideline him until the All-Star point guard is able to fully commit to the team.
“Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose. Currently, the choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability. It is imperative that we continue to build chemistry as a team and remain true to our long-established values of togetherness and sacrifice,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said in an official statement released by the team on October 12.
“Our championship goals for the season have not changed, and to achieve these goals each member of our organization must pull in the same direction. We are excited for the start of the season and look forward to a successful campaign that will make the borough of Brooklyn proud.”
Nets Can Win It All. Even Without Kyrie.
For the Nets most of the focus has been on Kyrie and his decision to not get vaccinated. But as the season opener against the Milwaukee Bucks approaches, they now have to focus on a bigger goal. Winning a championship this season. It could have been one of the main reasons that Sean Marks decided to sideline his All-Star point guard.
While James Harden and Kevin Durant certainly would prefer to do it with Kyrie, they still have enough to win a championship with this team in this season. Last year they came awfully close to beating the Bucks without him.