Kyrie Irving’s vaccination status remains a hot topic around the NBA. If the Nets star guard remains unvaccinated against COVID-19 he will not be able to practice or play in home games in Brooklyn during the 2021-22 season. The Nets were initially optimistic that Irving would get vaccinated before the start of the season, but the team is reportedly starting to lose hope and is bracing for Irving’s absence.
During an appearance on ESPN’s First Take, Phoenix Suns star guard Chris Paul, who previously served as the president of the NBPA, weighed in on the situation and made it clear that he doesn’t feel like it’s his place to tell another player what to do.
“I think every situation is personal. Every situation is different and it’s personal,” Paul said. “It’s not up to me to make a decision for anybody except for me and my family. I had some unbelievable years as the president of the PA, and still involved here and there in different things. I feel on any situation it’s up to that individual, and they have to make that decision for them and their family.”
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You can see Paul’s comments below, via First Take:
These comments from Paul sound a whole lot like comments made by Los Angeles Lakers star forward LeBron James on media day regarding the vaccine, and if he would try to convince others to get it after getting it himself.
“I can speak about myself, I think everyone has their own choice to do what they feel is right for themselves and their families, James said. “I know that I was very skeptical about it all, but after doing my research, I felt like it was best suited for not only me, but my friends. That’s why I decided to do it… You guys know me, anything I talk about, I don’t talk about other people and what they should do. I speak for me and my family. That’s what it’s about.”
Clearly, a lot of the players don’t feel like it’s their duty to convince others to get the vaccine, and that’s understandable. But, for what it’s worth, members of the Nets are still holding out hope that Irving will ultimately get the shot and in turn not be forced to be limited to a part-time role with the team.
“I’m envisioning Kyrie being a part of our team,” Kevin Durant said to media members on Wednesday. “Maybe I’m just naïve, but that’s just how I feel. But everybody here has that confidence in themselves and our group, that if we keep doing it we can do something special.”
If Irving decides to not get vaccinated, the Nets will have an extremely unique situation on their hands as they’ll have to figure out how to incorporate a player that will only be available for half of the team’s games.