Kyrie Irving Sends Stern Message After Nets Loss to Cavaliers

Kyrie Irving, Collin Sexton

Getty Kyrie Irving drives past Collin Sexton of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

During the first half of the Brooklyn Nets matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday, Nets forward Bruce Brown collided into Kevin Durant’s left knee during the 2nd quarter. The two-time NBA Finals MVP award winner did not return to the game. After Durant had an MRI on his knee early on Sunday, the Nets updated the status of his injury.

“Following an MRI this morning, Kevin Durant was diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral of the left knee. Durant is expected to return to full strength following a period of rehabilitation. Updates regarding his return will be provided as appropriate,” the team said per their Twitter account on Sunday.

The latest Nets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Nets newsletter here!

Join Heavy on Nets!

Kyrie Irving Still Has No Plans To Get Vaccinated

Nets starter Joe Harris has already been out with an injury since November 12 and now Durant is expected to miss a significant number of games. As the injuries pile up, some believe that this would be an ideal time for Nets star Kyrie Irving to get vaccinated. But the 7-time All-Star says that he still has no intention of getting the jab.

“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.”Irving said after the Nets’ loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday per NetsDaily.

“I respect everyone else’s decision. I’m not going to ever try to convince anyone of anything or any of that I just, I’m standing rooted (in) what I believe in, and though we’re dealing with this right now with Kev(in Durant), I just know that I’m protected by the organization and protected on my team, as I’m protected by all the doctors I’ve talked to and I’m just staying rooted.”

Kyrie Goes Deeper Into His Reason for Not Getting Vaccinated

For those who may be tardy to the party, Irving missed the first 35 games of the season after the Nets sidelined him due to his refusal to get the vaccine. As part of the New York City health and safety protocols, players must be vaccinated to play indoor sports. Irving rejoined the team in early January but remains unvaccinated and thus is only eligible to play Nets road games.

“You’re bringing my vaccination status into a basketball game, and I live my life the majority of the time away from this. So, when I say I’m not getting vaccinated and I’m making a choice for my life, somehow it gets mixed into ‘what about basketball?’ Like no,” Irving continued.

“We live in a real world. It’s great to be able to do this and I’m grateful for the opportunity. I love being with my teammates. I love playing on the Nets but I’ve already been away enough time to think about this, process it, and be able to make this decision, stand strong and understand that people are going to agree and some people are going to disagree.”

Durant is scheduled to miss between 4-6 weeks with a left MCL sprain. With Harris and now Durant being out with injuries, Irving’s refusal to get the vaccine could play a significant role in the Nets’ title chances.

 READ NEXT: Brooklyn Nets Could Trade James Harden for 3X All-Star This Summer: Report