Kevin Durant does not force Kyrie Irving to be vaccinated

Nets can not ask Kyrie Irving to be vaccinated. But they can tell him (and they have) how much they want him to play. And not just part-time, but all-in. Whatever it takes.

“He knows. He knows,” James Harden said, repeating to emphasize. “He knows. He knows that. “

Irving missed the first 35 games of the season due to his refusal to comply with New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which prevents him from playing home games. Nets, after bringing Irving back only for road games, are reportedly doing their part to convert him from a part-time player to a full-time player again.

The Nets let Irving return to road games, starting with Wednesday’s victory in Indiana. But Friday’s 121-109 loss to Milwaukee – at home, that is, without Irving – was a stark reminder of how much they need him.

It is not that they do not remind him of it regularly, even if the word vaccine does not appear.

“Nah. I told him how much, how important he is, how much I want him to play every game,” Kevin Durant said. “But I’m not going to force anyone to get a vaccine. It’s not my thing. So he can play basketball? Nah, I’m not going to do that.

The Nets are reportedly working with city officials to allow Kyrie Irving to play home games.
The Nets are reportedly working with city officials to allow Kyrie Irving to play home games.

“We’ve had conversations that he wanted to be part of the team and conversations that he was here full time. But it’s his time. Whatever decision he makes, he will make. It’s up to us to “Come in here and be professional no matter what, handle it and do our job, all of us from owner to equipment manager. So when he’s ready, he’s ready.”

The Post reported during training camp that the Nets were hoping to get Irving qualified on a non-resident loophole because he lives in New Jersey. YES broadcaster Ian Eagle has said that the Nets have spoken to city officials to see if there is any way to get the seven-time All-Star approved for home games.

“The Nets are working furiously behind the scenes with City to find a way for Kyrie to play full time,” Eagle told Sam Mitchell and Brian Geltzeiler on Sirius XM.

It appears to be a long shot, but apparently one that the Nets consider worth pursuing with Irving dug into.

Irving, a vegan, could be more open to a plant-based vaccine, one Bally Sports report speculated. The three current vaccines in the United States were tested on animals, but none of them use animal ingredients. A Canadian biotech company – “the world’s first plant-based vaccine for use in humans,” according to its CEO – is undergoing clinical trials and started in December the process of submitting an application to US regulators.

It could be a while. Irving is one of just 6.7 percent of New York City adults who have not received a single dose of vaccine. The number among NBA players is estimated at 3 percent.

Meanwhile, the Nets are waiting. And try to find your way in the middle of this crazy situation.

Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo said he would handle the Irving situation in the same way as Durant and Harden.

“When it comes to basketball, I feel like I can talk to them. When it comes to a personal decision like that.… I have to let them make their decision,” said Antetokounmpo. “They are grown men, and every situation is different. I can not pressure anyone to do something that he does not feel comfortable doing.

“I do not know what relationship they have, what kind of relationship they have. They must have talked to him. But they can not keep pushing him to do something he does not feel comfortable because it takes so much energy and takes energy from basketball. That’s why we’re here. “


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