The Nets Caved To Kyrie Irving and That’s Lame

Complex

You laughed at the absurdity of it, too, right? 

Kyrie Irving. Back soon. Practicing. Playing in road games. Still not vaccinated. With COVID cases spiking all over the NBA and the world.  

That’s really happening, apparently, after ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported late Friday afternoon—forever the favorite window to dump bad/guaranteed-to-be-received-horrifically news—that the Nets are welcoming back their mercurial superstar, who refused to be vaccinated for unclear reasons before the start of the season and therefore hasn’t been able to play in home games due to a New York City mandate. Notably, Woj says Irving had no plans to become immunized—and we’re not talking the Aaron Rodgers definition of immunized here—anytime soon. 

So much for the strong stance Brooklyn took back in October, one they were appropriately applauded for, when they told Irving to go home until he could be a full-time member of the team and not just be available for games away from Barclays Center. All because the guy who claimed he’s not an anti-vaxxer didn’t want to protect himself and others by getting jabbed like nearly the entire NBA, millions of New Yorkers, and billions of human beings.  

Now Brooklyn, because the roster’s a little thin with injuries and Kevin Durant’s playing a ton of minutes, will crazily allow Irving to return to practice and seemingly suit up when his conditioning is only up to par for games not played in Barclays, Madison Square Garden, and Toronto (since the Canadian government has also instituted a vaccine mandate). Meanwhile, COVID numbers are spiking to levels not seen in months, if not the past year, around New York and the country, with 21,027 new cases recorded in New York state on Friday, The New York Times reported. NBA teams have been racking up positives left and right—16 players entered health and safety protocols Friday—making players, coaches, and personnel miss games and causing some fans to call for a brief pause to the season. Meanwhile, society as a whole grows increasingly anxious about the Omicron variant, the fourth major wave of a pandemic with no end in sight. 

#basketball

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