“Well shoutout to Australia, who said no Novak Djokovic, you just can’t come here for two weeks and win millions of dollars playing tennis”: Charles Barkley takes a dig at the Nets organization for allowing Kyrie Irving to participate in road games

Arjun Julka
|Published January 07, 2022

Hall of Famer and TNT analyst Charles Barkley believes Kyrie Irving returning is not fair to the game or his team.

Former NBA champion and Nets guard Kyrie Irving returned to the hardwood in the game against the Pacers on Wednesday after being absent for 8-months. Irving’s decision to remain unvaccinated didn’t allow him to play any home games for the Brooklyn Nets, considering New York City’s COVID mandate.

The mandate forbids any player from practicing or playing at the home arena unless he is vaccinated. However, Irving believed it was his right to remain unvaccinated. Thus he was willing to sit out during home games. However, the Nets office at the time didn’t sanction the permission to allow Irving to be a part-time player.

As months passed, COVID-19 cases within the league started to skyrocket, leading to umpteen players entering the league’s protocols. With a shortage of players, organizations began signing former NBA players on ten-day contracts to fill up the rosters, which is when the Nets decided to have Irving back.

Also read: “Klay Thompson would play against the Cavaliers, if Rick Celebrini gives him the green flag”: Warriors’ Head Coach Steve Kerr talks about Klay’s return to action

Former MVP and television personality Charles Barkley was not very appreciative of the Nets organization allowing Irving back.

Charles Barkley reacts to Kyrie Irving playing his first game of the season.

During a recent episode of TNT’s Inside the NBA, Barkley expressed his opinion about the Nets having Irving back on board. The Phoenix Suns legend spoke about how players had to make sacrifices to win, unlike other individual sports. According to Chuck, Irving being a part-time player was unfair to his team and the game.

“When you’re on a team, you gotta make sacrifices for the team to win. Listen, if you wanna make a political point, which is silly and stupid, and not get vaccinated that is fine. But to only play in road games, I don’t think it’s fair to the game, but more importantly, I think it’s not fair to the team.”

Recently, there has been a lot of uproar regarding Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic being detained at the Australian airport for not meeting the vaccination mandate. The 34-year old could also face deportation despite being exempted by Tennis Australia. However, the Australian Border Force has denied Djokovic entry. The controversy has created polarizing views across the globe. Although, the superstar has always maintained his stance of not getting vaccinated.

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Nonetheless, Barkley gave a shoutout to Australia for taking a tough stand while talking about the Irving situation.

“Well shoutout to Australia, who said no Novak Djokovic, who is in the conversation with Nadal, Federer, and Pete Sampras as the greatest player ever. They’re like you just can’t come here and play tennis, we have strict rules. You just can’t come here for two weeks and win millions of dollars playing tennis.”

Also read: “Shut the f**k up!”: Julius Randle gives controversial explanation after showing a thumbs down to the Knicks crowd vs Boston Celtics

On the professional front, Irving had an impactful return against the Pacers, scoring 22-points and playing a major role in rallying a 19-point deficit, which led to the Nets winning the game.

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About the author

Arjun Julka

Arjun Julka

Arjun Julka is a NBA author at The SportsRush. Basketball isn’t just a sport for this 26-year-old, who hails from Mumbai. He began watching the sport after stumbling upon a court in his society, helping him identify an undiscovered passion for the game of hoops. Now an ardent fan, Arjun supports Stephen Curry and the Warriors but also enjoys watching Giannis Antetokounmpo own the paint. When it comes to the GOAT debate, the TSR author feels LeBron James is yet to receive a lot of his due but cannot deny marveling at Michael Jordan’s resume.

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