James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and the Nets are currently embroiled in turmoil due to Irving’s commitment to not getting the Covid-19 vaccine.
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 is very annoyed by Kyrie’s refusal, and he’s been berating the Nets guard for his decison whenever he gets on the air.
Stephen A. Smith says James Harden deserves more than Kyrie Irving is giving him
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.
James Harden very specifically demanded a trade from the Rockets to Brooklyn so that he could play alongside not just one superstar but two. He was robbed of that opportunity last year with injuries, and it looks like he might not get it again this season if Kyrie maintains his stance. That’s why Stephen A feels like Kyrie is letting Harden down the most.
James Harden deserves better than the nonsense Kyrie Irving is putting this franchise through! pic.twitter.com/74cV3ITrFs
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) October 8, 2021
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.