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 bought into this example, however the brief model seems to be like this: New York Metropolis handed an govt 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 crew till reversing course not too long ago and permitting him to play in highway video games solely.
This has been one of the vital weird tales within the latest 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 crew is keen to pay a small fantastic.
Based on Stefan Bondy of the New York Day by day Information, the penalty for breaking former mayor Invoice de Blasio’s govt order caps out at a $5K fantastic. That’s nothing for billionaire Nets proprietor Joe Tsai, or for Irving himself.
Irving continues to be on a “highway video games solely” schedule throughout 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 yr even with out Irving enjoying till not too long ago. Brooklyn at present sits No. 2 within the Jap Convention behind the Chicago Bulls.
The Nets haven’t introduced in the event that they’d be keen to pay the fantastic 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 a large 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 preserving himself secure — it’s about preserving everybody in New York Metropolis secure, too, and setting instance for the individuals who look as much as him.
Irving has by no means given a wise cause 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 may 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 instances 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? In fact not. It’s rubbish.
A $5K fan is a large deterrent for any regular individual that wishes to interrupt the NYC mandate. Tsai and Irving usually are not regular folks. They’re ridiculously wealthy. Simply because the fantastic 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. In fact, the Nets additionally mentioned they had been going to maintain Irving away from the crew 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. When you imagine within the idea of karma or “basketball gods,” it certain looks as if enjoying Irving in residence video games and paying the fantastic would invite unhealthy luck. Heck, the Nets might win the title anyway this yr even when Kyrie is barely enjoying highway video games.
We don’t know if the Nets will enable Kyrie to return for residence video games by paying the fantastic. This case simply retains getting weirder. The place it goes subsequent is anybody’s guess.