Kyrie Irving’s prolonged absence from the Brooklyn Nets has been one of many greatest tales of the NBA season. We wrote an explainer on how Kyrie and the Nets received into this example, however the brief model seems like this: New York Metropolis handed an government order that mandated NBA gamers on the Nets and Knicks should obtain the Covid vaccine to play in residence video games, Irving refused to get vaccinated, and the Nets determined to maintain him away from the group till reversing course just lately and permitting him to play in highway video games solely.
This has been probably the most weird tales within the current historical past of the league, and it’s about to take one other unusual flip. Irving can apparently play in residence video games for the Nets this season as long as he or his group is keen to pay a small high-quality.
In keeping with Stefan Bondy of the New York Day by day Information, the penalty for breaking former mayor Invoice de Blasio’s government order caps out at a $5K high-quality. That’s nothing for billionaire Nets proprietor Joe Tsai, or for Irving himself.
Irving remains to be on a “highway video games solely” schedule through the begin of his return to the Nets. He’s performed two video games thus far, and he scored 22 factors in every. The Nets have been superior all 12 months even with out Irving taking part in till just lately. Brooklyn at the moment sits No. 2 within the Japanese Convention behind the Chicago Bulls.
The Nets haven’t introduced in the event that they’d be keen to pay the high-quality to let Irving return.
Kyrie Irving ought to nonetheless get the vaccine, as a result of everybody ought to get it
The Covid vaccines are an enormous achievement for humanity. They’re secure and efficient. Each different member of the Nets and Knicks is vaccinated. Irving ought to cease being cussed and simply get the jab. It’s not nearly retaining himself secure — it’s about retaining everybody in New York Metropolis secure, too, and setting a superb instance for the individuals who look as much as him.
Irving has by no means given a smart purpose for refusing to get the vaccine. His refusal to do it has made him a political pawn for a sure part of the inhabitants, and that’s not one thing Kyrie desires to be related to. Irving would possibly fancy himself as a freethinker, however on this occasion he’s being ignorant.
The Nets shouldn’t let Kyrie play residence video games till he’s vaccinated
The optics of a billionaire proprietor and a participant who’s a millionaire many occasions over coming collectively to interrupt a city-wide rule goes to be a horrible look. Is it proper for the rich to be above the legal guidelines? After all not. It’s rubbish.
A $5K fan is a big deterrent for any regular particular person that wishes to interrupt the NYC mandate. Tsai and Irving will not be regular folks. They’re ridiculously wealthy. Simply because the high-quality could be chump change for them doesn’t make it proper.
Hopefully the Nets maintain sturdy and don’t let Irving play residence video games till he’s vaccinated. After all, the Nets additionally stated they have been going to maintain Irving away from the group this season till he was vaccinated earlier than they flip-flopped and allowed him to return for highway video games.
With Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Irving on the ground, the Nets could be the favorites to win the championship, as was the case earlier than the season. In the event you consider within the idea of karma or “basketball gods,” it positive looks like taking part in Irving in residence video games and paying the high-quality would invite unhealthy luck. Heck, the Nets may win the title anyway this 12 months even when Kyrie is just taking part in highway video games.
We don’t know if the Nets will enable Kyrie to return for residence video games by paying the high-quality. This example simply retains getting weirder. The place it goes subsequent is anybody’s guess.