Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks said Tuesday that Kyrie Irving’s decision to not comply with New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate left the organization with “no choice” but to keep him away from the team until he’s able to fully participate.
As stubborn as Kyrie Irving is, that means he will likely not play a single game this season or in the playoffs.
“Ultimately, yes,” Marks said during a hastily scheduled virtual news conference Tuesday afternoon discussing the team’s decision. “He has a choice to make, and he made his choice.
“Again, my job here is to make what we deem as the best decision and best choices for the organization moving ahead as a whole. They’re not always ones that are going to be met with open arms and a thumbs-up. These are hard decisions. Just like I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Kyrie either to have to make that [decision] to not be around his teammates.”
The Nets released a statement from Marks stating that the team had decided Irving was not going to have “part-time availability” and that he would be welcomed back once he got himself vaccinated.
It was a decision that earned Irving praise from….Donald Trump Jr.
Trump Jr. not only praised him, but took a shot at Colin Kaepernick in the process. “Kyrie just sacrificed more than Kaepernick ever did!”
Kaepernick lost his career because he was trying to look out for the betterment of others, while Kyrie Irving has gone down a conspiracy theory rabbit hole about a vacine that is meant to save lives.
Last Friday, a New York City Hall official told CNN that Irving will be allowed to practice at the team’s facility but will not be eligible to play in the Nets’ home games at Barclays Center due to the city’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate.
The seven-time all-star had spoken at the league’s media day last month of his excitement to play in front of fans again but refused to disclose his vaccination status, saying he “would like to keep all that private.”
“I know that I’ll be there every day no matter what and just be present for my teammates as one of the leaders on the team,” he added.
“I know the focus has to be at an all-time high, no distractions. This is the last thing I wanted to create, was more distractions and more hoopla and more drama around this.
“I’m doing my best to maintain this with good intentions and a good heart.”