The Brooklyn Nets start this NBA season as one of the top teams that could end up winning the NBA Championship in 2022. Those odds have now taken a hit as one of their best players is likely to miss all of their home games going forward.
While Kevin Durant is the biggest star that the Nets have, they also depend heavily on Kyrie Irving to support Durant and alongside James Harden. The Nets are now preparing to play without Irving in all of their home games at the Barclays Center in New York.
This is because Irving has not taken the COVID-19 vaccination and has no plans on doing so. While Irving has preferred to keep his views on the vaccine private, he has made it clear to the Nets management that he is not prepared to take the vaccine anytime soon.
I am protected by God and so are my people. We stand together.
— A11Even (@KyrieIrving) October 9, 2021
Nets coach Steve Nash said the team had to come to grips that they were going to have to win their home games without Irving in the squad. Irving will travel with the team and play away from home games in most cities, except for Los Angeles and San Francisco as they have a similar stance as New York.
Irving will be allowed to practice with the team at home though as practice sessions take place at the HSS Training Center which is a private facility. The vaccination mandate in New York is only applicable at public places.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) published a report which showed that more than 76 percent of all Americans over 12 have received one dose of the COVID vaccine. The CDCP has stated that unvaccinated individuals were 11x more likely to die from COVID than vaccinated individuals.
Nets Looking To Convince Irving
While the Nets have said publically they have accepted they will play all home games without Kyrie Irving, his teammates are very keen on having him play all games this season. The Nets are allegedly trying to educate Irving behind the scenes about the vaccination and why it was important for him to take it. As of now, it does not look that Irving wants to be educated as his mind is made up.
Kevin Durant has so far stood behind Irving’s decision but said he remained hopeful that Irving and the Nets would figure things out quickly.