To say that the Brooklyn Nets have had a rollercoaster season to this point would be an understatement. But you wouldn’t be able to tell on paper. The Nets currently have a record of 17-8, which is the best in the Eastern Conference. Even more impressive is they have done so without the services of their All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. For those who may not know, Irving was sidelined by the Nets prior to the start of the season because he refused to take the COVID-19 vaccination. Irving, a 7-time All-Star has left quite a void to fill and to the surprise of many, the Nets have managed to stay afloat.
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Kyrie Irving Could Have Interest in Plant-Based Vaccine
While taking the vaccine is not a requirement of the NBA, New York City requires players to be vaccinated to play basketball indoors. And as it stands now the requirements for the city will not be changing any time soon. But don’t rule out a Kyrie return just yet. According to Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson of Bally Sports, Irving is willing to get vaccinated under one condition.
“Irving has adopted a 100-percent plant-based diet, so he could wait until a plant-based version of the vaccine has been completed and approved. One such vaccine is undergoing clinical trials with more than 30,000 people taking part, according to a report in August,” Scoop B wrote per Bally Sports.
“He also could wait and see if incoming New York City Mayor Eric Adams will change his mind on the city’s mandates, although that appears to be unlikely.”
The last time Nets fans saw Kyrie on the court was in May during their Game 4 matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. It was in that same game that Irving suffered an ankle injury that held him out for the remainder of the series. But ‘Scoop B’ details that during his hiatus Irving has been staying ready for a potential return to the court.
“Irving has not been sitting idly,” Robinson continues. “According to people close to him, the seven-time All-Star has been working out pretty regularly, focusing on cardio, weight training, and meditation, and spending time with his immediate family. “This is the happiest that I’ve seen Kyrie in years,” one source said.”
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Harden Sounds off on He & Durant’s Increased Minutes
With the absence of Kyrie and an ankle injury to Nets starting shooting guard Joe Harris, the workload of everyone on Brooklyn’s roster has increased. This particularly applies to James Harden and Kevin Durant. But Harden says that the Nets’ stars don’t mind their increased minutes, because ultimately he and KD just want to play basketball.
“One thing about me and KD, we love to play basketball,” Harden said after the Nets win over the Dallas Mavericks per ESPN. “So, it don’t matter. We could play the whole 48. Even if we’re exhausted. Coach says something — nope. We wanna stay in the game. We wanna play.”
One thing has been made abundantly clear this season, the Nets are better with Kyrie than they are without him. Nobody knows if the 7-time All-Star will return this season, but sitting at 1st place in the Eastern Conference they have proven they are still formidable in his absence.