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Kyrie Irving cards have cratered amid Covid-19 vaccine controversy

Kyrie Irving, Nets

During the offseason, Kyrie Irving cards were one of the many options collectors went for as the market dipped. It makes sense because the Brooklyn Nets are going to enter the upcoming season with a healthy Kevin Durant and James Harden, making them instant contenders in the Eastern Conference. What’s unexpected, however, is the All-Star point guard’s stand on vaccination and its consequences on his NBA career.

Thanks to his refusal to get the vaccine, Irving was barred from playing for the Nets. While his career got stuck in limbo, Uncle Drew’s rookie card value dropped like a hot potato. We take a look at Irving’s rookie card value and the factors that are dragging it down right now.

The Current State Of Kyrie Irving Cards In The Market

Irving, and to some extent, the Nets ended last season on a disappointing note when they were eliminated by the Milwaukee Bucks. But as the offseason went on, the hype for this squad steadily snowballed. The anticipation of Brooklyn’s All-Star trio of Durant, Harden, and Irving starting a season healthy propelled the Nets to become a heavy favorite in the East. But just like what the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics experienced, there’s bound to be some sort of trouble brewing when it comes to the one-time NBA champion.

Kyrie Irving, Nets

Weeks before the season opener, Irving has made his stand against vaccines public. This goes against New York City’s regulation that restricts unvaccinated individuals from entering indoor arenas and gyms, making the point guard unavailable to play games at home. As a result, Irving was expected to miss half of the scheduled games as he was only eligible to participate in road games.

Of course, this development caused the Nets’ front office, coaching staff, and legions of fans to doubt whether the All-Star can suit up for the team soon or not. The uncertainly ended with General Manager Sean Marks announcing Irving can’t rejoin the team until he gets the vaccine or New York City lifts the local mandate that’s preventing him from playing. With this decision, Irving has been relegated to the limbo where he’s in right now. That, and a Nets squad that could’ve used his talents to go all the way to the top.

As a result of his unpopular stance and absence from the games, Irving’s stock has definitely taken a hit. His PSA 10 Prizm rookie card, which was valued at $650 weeks ago, has gone down to $500. Likewise, Irving’s PSA 10 NBA Hoops rookie card also took a tumble from $200 to $69 recently.

The Outlook on Kyrie Irving Cards For This Season

It’s totally understandable for collectors who have invested in the Nets’ All-Star to feel regret and frustration. Brooklyn could have used last season’s Irving, who went on to average 26.9 points on 50/40/92 shooting splits in the course of 54 games. With him in the lineup, their chance to take the championship home is just much stronger.

Kyrie Irving, Nets

But this isn’t the end yet. There’s still hope that either Brooklyn’s front office can allow Irving to play games on the road or New York City lifts its vaccine mandate sometime during the season. If either of these events occurs, there’ll be a chance for Irving’s stock to go up again.

Future events aside, now would be the ideal time to strike on those Kyrie Irving cards. With prices expected to drop further the more games he misses, hobbyists can beef up their collection with a Hall of Fame-caliber player and one of the most talented point guards to have ever played the game. Of course, it also pays to keep up with the latest news concerning vaccines, the NBA, and Irving himself.