After Thursday night’s preseason victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, Kevin Durant revealed that he hasn’t spoken with his teammate Kyrie Irving since the Brooklyn Nets announced he would be unable to participate as a part-time player.
Durant, like his other fellow superstar teammate James Harden, said he wishes Irving was with the team, but there’s not much he can do to change his mind.
The star point guard is clearly set in his ways regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. And as long as he refuses to get vaccinated, New York state regulations will prohibit him from participating in home practices and games.
“What is being mad going to do?” Durant said. “You’re not going to change his mind, you know what I’m saying? We’ll let him figure out what he needs to do and the team figure out what they need to do. And us as players, when we’re in the locker room, we’re on the floor, we’re gonna work with each other. Life is amazing, so I can’t be too mad at somebody making a decision for themselves.”
Obviously it would be ideal for the Nets if the entire big three was out on the court, but KD has acknowledged that this isn’t a plausible outcome given the circumstances at this time.
“KD knows that Kyrie is his guy, but he’s saying they’ve got to move on,” he said. “They aren’t going to change Kyrie’s mind, if they haven’t convinced him now, what’s another 20 min call going to do?”
.@ShannonSharpe on KD's comments about the Nets playing without Kyrie:
"KD knows that Kyrie is his guy, but he's saying they've got to move on. They aren't going to change Kyrie's mind, if they haven't convinced him now, what's another 20 min call going to do?" pic.twitter.com/dOYsTtoccQ
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) October 15, 2021
While Irving doesn’t appear to be changing his opinion anytime soon, Kevin Durant said he’s optimistic that the situation “will work out” eventually.
The Nets’ first regular-season game will tipoff against the defending-champion Milwaukee Bucks on Oct. 19.