The Brooklyn Nets are used to a lot of drama courtesy of their enigmatic point guard Kyrie Irving. They are also very used to Irving missing a lot of games.
They might get a combo of both of those things this year.
If the NBA season were tipping off tonight, Irving would be a no show at both practices and games for the Nets, because he has not been vaccinated for COVID-19 and it doesn’t sound like he has plans to do it any time soon.
He could ask for an religious or medical exemption but he hasn’t done it yet, and Andrew Wiggins of the Warriors tried that and was denied.
Irving’s aunt Tyki Irving told Rolling Stone that the world should not be shocked if her nephew misses games because of “oppressive” limitations in NYC regarding the vaccine mandate.
“He is going to try to figure that out as it comes, because it’s not religious-based, it’s moral-based.”
Rolling Stone reported that between 50-60 NBA players are currently not vaccinated. Also, the magazine interviewed more than a dozen NBA players and execs and there appears to be a “Moderna microchip misinformation campaign has spread across multiple NBA locker rooms and group chats.”
The NBA players have much more freedom than NFL players regarding how the league treats unvaccinated players.
Here’s an excerpt from a story in the New York Post regarding what Rolling Stone found out about the leagues’ stance on the issue.
“Medical memos for the 2021-2022 season obtained by Rolling Stone suggest there won’t be much monitoring of unvaccinated players and little to no power for teams to punish them. Players won’t be forced to undergo off-day testing, socially distanced travel is now “suggested” and those who aren’t fully vaccinated can seek outside labs for regular testing. Outside labs must get league approval, but those players’ tests are only supervised by their respective teams.”