The Brooklyn Nets have won eight of their past teams and lead the Eastern Conference despite playing without one of their three superstars. And although the Nets (15-6) have found a strong groove since their 2-3 start, many wonder what is in the future for marquee guard Kyrie Irving.
One of the most lethal offensive weapons in the NBA, Irving continues to remain sidelined because of his refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. When asked about an update Wednesday on "The Pat McAfee Show," NBA Insider Shams Charania said Irving is nowhere closer to getting the vaccination.
“Kyrie Irving is nowhere closer to getting the vaccine & he's not gonna play basketball unless he gets traded."
Because of the state of New York's laws that require a COVID-19 vaccination, Kyrie Irving has been ineligible to play in home games. Further, because he would miss more than half of the team's games and the Nets' chemistry would be affected, Brooklyn opted not to play Irving this season.
The star guard remains firm on his stance on refusing vaccination, and Charania said Irving will not play basketball this year unless he’s traded.
The Brooklyn Nets were a preseason favorite to make the NBA Finals. Irving provides a terrifying amount of offensive firepower, a threat increased by playing alongside fellow stars Kevin Durant and James Harden.
After an impressive offseason that saw the front office bring in some serious depth, Brooklyn had become one of the deepest teams in the NBA. Irving's decision, announced during the preseason, forced the Nets to require he remain away from the team moving forward.
With Irving refusing to change his stance, Brooklyn’s title chances took a blow. The Nets still have two of the NBA's most lethal players in superstars Kevin Durant and James Harden. The two have continued to do everything in their power to carry the team.
It remains to be seen if Irving or the Nets organization will make a change regarding this situation. As Irving continues to sit, speculation around whether or not the Nets would look to potentially trade Irving could grow.
Brooklyn will host the Minnesota Timberwolves (11-11), who have won seven of their past nine games, on Friday. They then have a home showdown against the Chicago Bulls (14-8), who are tied for second in the Eastern Conference, on Friday night in the second game of a back-to-back.