Kyrie Irving has clearly resisted being vaccinated for Covid-19, despite the mountains of scientific evidence for the vaccine’s safety and efficacy, nor the societal responsibility for public health.
For Irving, though, it represented an on-court issue as well, because he wouldn’t be allowed to play in home games as long as he wasn’t vaccinated. Irving could have been cleared to practice with the team, but at a certain point, it became clear that having a part-time player was going to be questionably tenable. Irving would be constantly in and out of lineups depending on the location of the game, and his playing style and talents are such that it would require almost an entirely different offense.
Irving, for his part, has shown almost no flexibility on the vaccine front. Thus, an impasse, which the Nets have for the moment resolved today by announcing that Irving won’t be permitted to be a part-time participant.
Nets GM Sean Marks statement on Brooklyn's decision to sit Kyrie Irving until he fulfills NYC vaccination rules: pic.twitter.com/4LBIQXt7al
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 12, 2021
So, yeah, that’s a pretty definitive move from the franchise! Again, this is only happening because Irving refuses to get vaccinated. If he is indeed going to sit out the entire season, the Eastern Conference power balance will shift a bit, because while KD and James Harden are all-world players, the roster without Irving just isn’t the same.
One other thing with Kyrie and the Nets:
Will the Nets officially suspend him? If so, he can be moved to the Suspended List after three games (assuming the suspension is four or more games). That should give Brooklyn an additional roster spot to use.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) October 12, 2021
We’ll see what happens!