Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets face uncertainity for the upcoming season as Kyrie Irving’s vaccination status may keep him out of all home games.
The NBA doesn’t have an official requirement for being vaccinated, but they have maintained that they’ll be compliant with state and local guidelines.
New York and California in particular are requiring vaccines, and so if players want to play in home-games, they’ll need to be fully vaccinated. Unfortunately, for the Nets, Kyrie Irving has maintained that he will not be taking the vaccine for now which means that he won’t be able to play in any games at the Barclays Center.
The Brooklyn Nets are still unsure whether Kyrie Irving will be available to play at home games since he’s unvaccinated.https://t.co/rzSrvj7Def
— Complex (@Complex) October 6, 2021
Stephen A. Smith believes Kyrie Irving’s future with the Nets is up to Kevin Durant
Missing potentially more than 41 games is less than ideal for the Nets. Brooklyn brought together Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant to build a championship team.
Their first year, both superstars spent more time off the court than on it. Durant was recovering from his achilles injury from the 2019 Finals while Kyrie dealt with several injuries as well. Last year was supposed to be their debut together.
Things got off to a great start, and somehow, the Nets dynamic duo turned into a big three as they brought in James Harden in a monster trade for the Rockets star. However, the triumphant feelings were only fleeting.
Due to injuries, the Nets big three would hardly play together throughout the regular season and playoffs as Irving missed majority of the Eastern conference semi-finals where the Nets were eliminated in seven. To not have Kyrie again would be disastrous.
The Nets would still undoubtedly be a top tier contender with two MVP candidates in James Harden and Kevin Durant, but it’s disappointing when you can’t play to your full potential. So, what should the Nets do regarding Kyrie’s vaccine status? Many have suggested the Nets move on and trade him for a player who can contribute for all 82 games.
The idea might seem radical, but there may be some logic to it. Kyrie would not only not be playing in half the team’s games, but he’d be inconsistently missing games depending on how the schedule is laid out. It’s not like every NBA team plays 41 straight home games and then 41 straight away games. That means that Kyrie’s weird alternating presence and absence could affect team chemistry negatively.
Stephen A. Smith sides on the side of trading Kyrie away, most probably for Ben Simmons, and he believes that the deal could happen if Kevin Durant wishes it.
Kyrie’s future with the nets depends on KD. pic.twitter.com/NeVS8KXQkC
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) October 8, 2021
This is definitely an interesting situation to monitor. Will Kyrie stay stubborn and force the Nets hands into a move they may not want to make, or will he eventually cave in and get vaccinated? Only time will tell.