Brooklyn Nets PG Kyrie Irving wants you to respect his privacy. This apparently includes asking questions about whether or not he’ll play home basketball games in the 2021-22 NBA season. Asking a basketball player who is being paid millions of dollars whether or not he’s going to play basketball games and having this be his answer is interesting to say the least. Here’s Kyrie (via a Zoom call at NBA Media Day for the Nets) “answering” questions:
There are major concerns in the NBA about the season being played with so many players unvaccinated. A lot of them refuse to comment on the issue and many players who are vaccinated feel the need to avoid questions because the topic is so divisive (Toronto Raptors PG Fred VanVleet said this earlier today). So were entering the season with a lot of players having the potential to sit out games to avoid having to comply with state and League mandates on Covid-10 protocols.
The NBA wanted to mandate that all players are vaccinated but that was shut down. So now instead of having it be a non-issue, we should see a plenty of players being placed in Covid protocols throughout the season and missing games, causing outbreaks and generally putting people in danger. The issue with Irving is New York has asked that all professional athletes show proof of vaccination in order to play indoors. Players needs either a medical or religious exemption.
Golden State Warriors G/F Andrew Wiggins tried to get approved for religious exemption and was denied. Now it appears he’s ready to hold out or just sit out games in New York and San Francisco, which has the same policy. It isn’t just Wiggins and Irving, too. This could impact even bigger names, dare we say LeBron James?
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar has kept his vaccination decision private and called it a family matter. That isn’t admitting he isn’t vaccinated. But there will come a point where James and the Lakers are playing at Madison Square Garden and he isn’t out on the court or in the arena.
It’s only a matter of time before we start to see this impact the NBA. Preseason games begin on Sunday with the Nets facing the facing the Lakers in Los Angeles. Next Tuesday, the New York Knicks host the Indiana Pacers in their first preseason contest. We’ll see which players are allowed into MSG and which players have opted not to get vaccinated.