Irving tried to clear the air around various claims circulating about him in the media. He said that he wouldn't retire, and also said that he isn't comfortable in taking the COVID-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets have ruled him till he gets vaccinated.
NBA experts have been very critical about Irving's vaccination stance. Bayless said that the Brookyln Nets have been very clear about their decision to keep Irving out till he gets himself vaccinated. Speaking about the same on The Undisputed, Bayless said:
"You don't get it ... 'I'm not retiring', well then they are going to retire you. Because that's where you're heading, and I am not exaggerating that. Not only did the Nets move on, but Steve Nash yesterday was very clear about 'everybody is completely comfortable with what we chose to do' and it was a we, which he was making it very clear."
"Kevin Durant was a part of this. James was part of this process, and in the end, he's saying that 'we are completely sound in the choice that we made, everybody's on board,' that was the statement he made."
Kyrie Irving's absence could be acutely felt by the Brooklyn Nets. However, the franchise is confident of a championship triumph without the star player.
Does Kyrie Irving's absence diminish the Brooklyn Nets' chances of winning the championship?
Kyrie Irving has been very firm in his stance that he would do what he felt was right. However, that is set to keep him out of the Brooklyn Nets franchise for a considerable amount of time.
There were rumors about him retiring if the Nets traded him, but the seven-time All-Star cleared the air about it. Speaking about the same on his IG live, Irving said:
“Don’t believe that I’m retiring. Don’t believe that I’m going to give up this game for a vaccine mandate or staying unvaccinated. Don’t believe any of that sh*t man. Be aware of what’s being said… All these people saying all these things about what’s going on with me, it’s just not true.”
Irving is one-third of a Big 3 in Brooklyn. He registered a special 50/40/90 season last year, helping the Nets finish as the second seed in the East. However, with the vaccine mandate in place before the new season, Irving is all but ruled out because of being unvaccinated.
The Nets players have been very supportive of Irving, saying they would love to see him back this season. However, with no fixed time frame for his return, coach Steve Nash has to prepare his troops without Irving for a considerable amount of time.
Even without Irving, the Brooklyn Nets have a strong roster, spearheaded by Kevin Durant and James Harden. The Nets also have some experienced campaigners like Patty Mills and LaMarcus Aldridge who are capable of producing big games. If Lady Luck sides with them, the Nets could go all the way in 2021-22, even without Kyrie Irving.
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