NBA: Nets' Kyrie Irving feels 'no guilt' over vaccination status | Inquirer Sports
NBA

NBA: Nets’ Kyrie Irving feels ‘no guilt’ over vaccination status

/ 01:56 PM February 14, 2022
Kyrie Irving Nets

Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets gestures during the second quarter against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena on February 10, 2022 in Washington, DC. Greg Fiume/Getty Images/AFP

Kyrie Irving said he feels “no guilt” over not being vaccinated — a decision that’s led to his part-time player status — amid an 11-game losing streak for his Brooklyn Nets.

With Kevin Durant out with a knee injury and James Harden traded, Irving was the last of the Nets’ big three standing Saturday night when Brooklyn lost to the Eastern Conference-leading Heat in Miami, 115-111. The Nets have fallen to 29-27 and to eighth place in the conference.

ADVERTISEMENT

New York City rules that require vaccination against COVID-19 are keeping Irving from playing in home games in Brooklyn.

“There’s no guilt that I feel,” Irving told reporters after scoring a game-high 29 points on Saturday. “I’m the only player that has to deal with this in New York City because I play there. If I was anywhere else in another city then it probably wouldn’t be the same circumstances. But because I’m there, we have (mayor) Eric Adams, we have the New York mandate, we have things going on that are real-life circumstances that are not just affecting me, bro. So you ask me these questions, I don’t feel guilt.”

FEATURED STORIES

Nets coach Steve Nash said Saturday that Durant is working his way back from a sprained left MCL, which has kept him out since Feb. 15, but there is no timetable for his return. And it’s unclear when Ben Simmons — the centerpiece of the Harden trade to Philadelphia — will be in game shape after sitting out the season in a dispute with the 76ers.

Kyrie Irving Nets

Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets cheers on his team in the first quarter against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena on February 10, 2022 in Washington, DC. Greg Fiume/Getty Images/AFP

The Nets have six games remaining in February, and Irving is eligible to play in just one — Feb. 26 at Milwaukee.

In his postgame comments, Irving said he had received assurances from the league and players association about his ability to play but those assurances have gone unfilled.

“I’m just living my life as best I can just like everybody else that missed these last two years,” Irving said. “I didn’t have a plan in place while all this was going on, didn’t know. The NBA and the NBPA made it very clear that there would be things that I would be able to do to work around this. And that’s off the table. So you tell me if I’m just alone out here or do I have support from everybody else that’s dealing with the same thing?”

Irving, 29, began the season on the sidelines but returned to the team as a road-game-only player on Jan. 5. He has played in 14 games, averaging 24.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists.

RELATED STORIES

Kyrie Irving not wavering on vaccine stance with Kevin Durant injured

NBA: Heat send Nets to 11th straight loss

Get the hottest sports news straight into your inbox

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Brooklyn Nets, Kyrie Irving, NBA
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our sports news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2023 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.