Kyrie Irving pulls up to shoot. PHOTO COURTESY OF KEITH ALLISON

(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON OCTOBER 21, 2021)

DANTE S. MCLEOD
Sports Editor

Star NBA player Kyrie Irving has shown the willingness to stick to his beliefs; whether he is putting his career in jeopardy is yet to be seen.

When New York City put its COVID-19 vaccine rule into action, Irving, a player on the Brooklyn Nets, disagreed with getting the shot and decided not to do so. This has caused Irving’s playing days to be considered up in the air right now. Irving provided comments on his standing with the situation.

According to the ESPN article “Kyrie Irving says the decision to remain unvaccinated is ‘about being true to what feels good for me,’” wrote Staff Writer Ohm Youngmisuk. “The Nets decided to not allow their starting point guard to practice or play with them at all until he complies with New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.”

The article also shares that Irving holds no ill will towards the teams’ wishes. He is fine with the fact that doctors are just trying to make the best decisions for public health.

Per the article, despite being denied access to the team without a vaccine shot, Irving still plans on working out to stay in season shape. He hopes to one day return to the court as a Net, as per what the article entails.

Irving missing the entire season will not be cheap. He has accepted millions from the Nets and will be at risk of losing the money, states Youngmisuk. However, Irving expresses his awareness of this loss among other things.

Youngmisuk states that Irving questioned the media on whether they really believe he wants to miss out on earning the millions he signed to play for. Irving also questioned the media on whether they really believed he wanted to miss out on games with his teammates, those he has been working hard with over the last few years.

Irving wants people to know that he plans on living his life the way he sees fit. He wants people to recognize that he gets to live his life, no one else. Irving feels good about the beliefs he has, Youngmisuk insinuates.

Although Irving made this decision to support his beliefs, one can wonder what effect it will have on his teammates, especially fellow star NBA Nets players Kevin Durant and James Harden. This big three obviously has aspirations of combining their star power to win championships. In time, they may just make a dynasty, but Irving’s action could put these hopes in jeopardy, and it could cause a rift between the three.

So far, this is not the case. According to an article on bolavip.com, “Kevin Durant gets brutally honest on Kyrie Irving’s absence,” by Ernesto Cova, Cova states that Durant misses Irving, but supports his wishes.

“I can’t be too mad at somebody making a decision for themselves,” said Durant in Cova’s article. “Who am I to get upset at that?”

After the situation constantly being brought up, Harden has become tired of discussing the matter, per the Fan Sided article “Nets: Does James Harden’s response to media show Kyrie Irving is affecting chemistry?” by Josh Paredes, the situation has been lingering throughout the media.

Irving standing up for himself shows a strong character in the practice of his rights. Whether or not this situation affects the Net’s season is yet to be seen.