Irving out for Home Games for the Entire Season

Updated: October 10, 2021
irving 3

Due to vaccination restrictions that Kyrie Irving has not complied with in New York, it has now been reported by coach Steve Nash that Irving will not be available for home games this season. Brooklyn continues to present a relaxed and poised front for the media; however, one would assume that just underneath the surface, their wheels are spinning. Although last season they basically had all three of their stars periodically rotating in and out of the lineup, the hopes for the 2021-22 season was to be at full strength from the jump and prepare for a postseason where they are considered the heavy favorites to come out of the East.

Considering this is a localized issue and any players who reside outside of the State of New York are not confined by these strict obligations, one would assume that Brooklyn is looking to move Irving outside of New York to appease the needs of both the franchise and Kyrie. However, a second wave of rumors has come out of Kyrie’s camp that if he were traded out of Brooklyn, he most likely would retire from basketball.

It’s hard to gauge the whole situation since Kyrie himself has said very little on the topic. One would assume if he felt strong enough to take 300,000 dollar fines for each missed home game that he would be quite vocal about why he has decided against taking the vaccine. However, he opted to not attend media day in Brooklyn and has forced his teammates, the front office, and coaching staff to speak for him instead. The question that has to be asked is why he would be threatening retirement if he was fully committed to playing the game of basketball he claims to love so much.

Still only 29 years young and although injury-prone, still dead center in the middle of his prime, it would be a joy to see him paired with the likes of Joel Embiid in Philadelphia. Now it is impossible to know if that deal is even a viable option considering how poorly the 76ers’ front office has dealt with trying to move off Ben Simmons, but the possibility is taken off the table from the jump with the rumors of possible retirement from Irving if traded. One could understand the threats if the rumors were him being traded to OKC or New Orleans, but if he were able to land on another title contender while not having to take a shot he is against, one would assume it would be a huge win.

If it is a protest, he is wishing to lead, his silence is a very odd way to go about it. With the hype around the new NBA legislation, and many NBA players on other franchises already speaking out, Irving’s support and/or leadership would presumably make a huge impact. Instead, on media day when he would’ve had the opportunity to monopolize the NBA world, he was a no-show.
So as much as those who are against the vaccination may now be praising Kyrie for his “bravery,” we have to consider if this whole charade is more a selfish act that is more about Irving’s lack of desire to play rather than his commitment to a cause. Many players around the league deal with things from teammates or their front office that they don’t like, but Irving is the only one in recent years to threaten retirement and he’s now done it twice in a 1-month window.

A silver lining, at least through the regular season would be that the injury-prone Irving would be well rested for his games on the road. However, with how explosive his game is, his injuries don’t appear to occur from wear and tear but from specific events on the floor that may be amplified due to the on and off schedule he will have this season. The James Harden trade now from last season has become even more interesting. On one hand, the insurance he has brought has allowed the Nets to withstand the possibility of going into a 7 games series without Irving, however, it may be Harden’s presence that has put Irving in the space where he feels he is no longer needed.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Skip to toolbar