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Kyrie Irving’s strong message on COVID-19 vaccine stand after Nets’ loss to Hornets in home debut

Nets, Kyrie Irving

After missing the season’s first 35 games at home, Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving finally made his season debut at Barclays Center in a 119-110 loss to LaMelo Ball and the Charlotte Hornets.

But after the game, Kyrie opened up about how he wants the legacy of his stand (to remain unvaccinated from COVID-19) to be remembered.

“I made it very clear it was never just about me,” Irving said. “I think for my own legacy, that’s to be written by all those that I impact, and all those that impact me,” Irving said before reminding reporters he focuses more on the present and not what’s in his rear view or the road ahead.

Irving struggled in the game. To be fair, there was a lot hanging over him here. The Nets got in at 4:00 am EST from their win in Miami Saturday. Then there was the emotions of playing in his first home game without much rest in front of his hometown fans.

“The point of this season for me, was never to just take a stand,” Irving explained. “It was really to make sure I’m standing on what I believe in and freedom….about the freedom to make choices with your life without someone telling you what the f–k to do.”

Kyrie Irving finished with 16 points and 11 dimes, albeit on just 6-of-22 from the floor. It certainly wasn’t his best game. He dropped a cool 50 spot on these Hornets the last time they met. But it does make sense his mind and body may both have been elsewhere.

“I’m standing for freedom. That’s in all facets of my life, and there’s nobody that’s enslaving me, nobody telling me what I’m gonna do with my life and that’s just the way I am,” the Nets star added.

So now he can put this behind him. Life goes on, perhaps without the endless questions this team has fielded all season long about how things might be different if Irving were a full-time player. It’s difficult to quantify the toll that may have had on this locker room. Irving is back and the team is clinging to the 8th seed, tied with the upstart Hornets.

Irving’s stance is still controversial. Some fans are happy for him. Others never appreciated his position. But most Nets fans can probably agree it’s a relief this saga appears to be in the rear view now. It’s about basketball again. And what Irving’s stand and legacy will be here is like he says, for those he impacted to decide.