With the 2021-22 NBA season less than two weeks away, Kyrie Irving’s status remains up in the air. The Brooklyn Nets point guard needs to receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in order to practice and play at the Barclays Center.
Irving, who has been ruled out for this Friday’s contest against the Milwaukee Bucks, has not been able to attend any of the Nets’ practices this month. He has conducted all of his press conferences from home thus far.
When asked if he plans on receiving the vaccine at some point this year, Irving refused to give a definitive answer.
“I like to keep that stuff private,” Irving said. “I’m a human being first. Obviously living in this public sphere, there’s a lot of questions about what’s going on in the world of Kyrie, and I think I would love to keep that private and handle it the right way with my team and go forward together with a plan. Obviously I’m not able to be present there today, but that doesn’t mean I’m putting any limits on the future for me being able to join the team.”
While it’s possible Irving will receive the COVID-19 vaccine before the start of the 2021-22 season, it appears ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy has run out of patience when it comes to analyzing this situation. He unleashed a passionate rant about Irving’s vaccination status during Thursday night’s broadcast of the Heat-Rockets preseason game.
“You know the one that drives me crazy? ‘I’m doing my own research.’” Van Gundy said. “I would like someone to answer this question: What does that look like – you doing your own research? Are you doing studies yourself? Are you in the lab on a nightly basis? What are you doing? I don’t understand what that means, ‘I’m doing my own research.’ How about this: We have really smart people, a lot smarter than anyone in the NBA, who have already done the research.”
"You know what drives me crazy? 'I'm doing my own research.' What does that look like? Are you doing studies yourself? Are you in lab on a nightly basis? I don't understand what that means."
Jeff Van Gundy reacts to the Kyrie Irving-Nets situation.pic.twitter.com/8vQlsgt8aG
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) October 8, 2021
Van Gundy added that Brooklyn is “good enough” to win a championship even without Irving.
“They’re [the Nets] good enough even if Kyrie Irving doesn’t play. They can win it.”
Obviously, the Nets would love to have Irving available for the 2021-22 season. All they can do right now is wait and see if he gets the vaccine, though.