3 reasons Kyrie Irving scandal won’t hurt Nets as much as people think
On Tuesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news about the Brooklyn Nets’ uncertainty of accommodating Kyrie Irving, who remains bullishly unvaccinated against COVID-19. Just to give a quick brief, the New York City rules state that unvaccinated players for the Brooklyn Nets or New York Knicks (they’re 100% vaccinated) cannot play in games or even practice in their home market. This means that if Irving remains unvaccinated throughout the season, he wouldn’t be able to play in any home games, unless the rules change.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 6, 2021
There have been no further reports on whether Irving plans to receive the vaccine or not. However, it seems like the Nets are going to continue to work their way around the situation. Brooklyn is more than capable of still succeeding despite Irving’s issues with the vaccine.
3 reasons Nets will be just fine
The Nets still employ fricking Kevin Durant and James Harden
Yes, that’s the luxury of having three superstars on one team. When one is out due to injury or in this case, “personal reasons,” Durant and Harden are there to carry the load. Durant and Harden are lethal scorers who will have no problem handling the ball more. That’s the advantage of the Nets, who were the second-best team in the Eastern Conference despite an injury-riddled season in 2020-21.
Remember, Durant was literally one step away from taking the Nets to the Eastern Conference Finals. He barely had Harden and Irving’s help in those games, so imagine what it would have been like if at least one of Harden or Irving had been healthy? It’s fair to argue that the Nets would have possibly won the NBA championship.
The Nets have enough depth
No Kyrie? No problem! FIBA Patty Mills is here to take on the scoring load. They’re not the same type of players, but Mills has proven he can be an X-factor on a championship team. There’s also the likes of Joe Harris (who had a horrible playoff run), Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge and Paul Millsap, among others. The Nets have enough firepower to run through the regular season.
"My conversation with Kevin Durant mindset of purposeful basketball to try & bring a championship to Brooklyn" – Patty Mills on why he chose Nets pic.twitter.com/WGl3yLFDBz
— Jeri Tsai (@JeriTsaiNets) September 27, 2021
The Nets will technically still have Kyrie
If Irving still doesn’t take the vaccine, he could still have the opportunity to play road games. This is, of course, if Nets management obliges him to do just that. But if you think about it, it’s another way for the All-Star to manage the season and maybe get the vaccine come playoff time so he’ll be able to play in the playoffs. It’s one of those 3D chess over checkers kind of scenarios but, obviously, vaccine hesitancy is still a serious problem and shouldn’t be a reason for a player to partake in load management.
At the end of the day, a lot of fans, even those who don’t support the Nets, want to watch Irving suit up in most games this season. He’s a must-watch star just for his skill set alone. Let’s hope this issue does not get in the way of his performance and availability this season, because that would be a bummer for the NBA.