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Kyrie Irving, NBA Champion and wild thinker of thoughts, attended Sunday’s home basketball game between his 8th seeded Brooklyn Nets and their in-state rival the New York Knicks. Currently starting yet somehow still a part-time Nets Point Guard, all an unmasked and unvaxxed Irving could do was sit front row cheering on teammates like the thousands of roisterous Brooklyn fans in attendance.
Due to his COVID-19 vaccination status, Irving is prohibited from participating in games that take place in New York City due to a private-sector mandate for unvaccinated persons. Though Irving is averaging 25.9 points per game in dazzling fashion since returning to the NBA last month, he’s done so everywhere but the place who would cheer for him loudest: Brooklyn. Yet in true mind-bending fashion, even though Irving cannot play, he is allowed to attend games in New York City as a spectator. Meaning he can walk into the same building as a patron but not a participant – which makes sense how?
In late February, Adams announced a plan to lift the city’s public sector mask and vaccine mandates on March 7. While many believed that was the news the Nets and Kyrie Irving were waiting for, he is still not eligible to play until he gets vaccinated.
Kevin Durant, Irving’s teammate and top 3 NBA player, scored 53 points in Sunday’s win over the Knicks and had one more shot for NYC Mayor Eric Adams. KD criticized Adams for the mandate’s absurdity and counter-productivity of the rule.
“It’s ridiculous. I don’t understand it at all,” Durant said. “We’re all confused. Pretty much everybody in the world is confused at this point. Early on in the season, people didn’t understand what was going on but now, it just looks stupid. Eric, you gotta figure this out.”
KD also speculated that the mayor may be upholding the rule to garner attention for himself. Yet, rookie Mayor Adams is only enforcing the rule previously in place.
Kyrie Irving is no victim. He’s just unvaxxed.
Kyrie is a man of convictions. Though he’s often critiqued for his beliefs, Irving is rooted in his truth. Recently Irving has been vocal and visible about humanitarian causes and frequently puts his time and money where his mouth is. Yet his decision to not get vaccinated has had ripple effects throughout his team, the NBA, and like-minded fans who even stormed the Barclays Center last fall in support of Irving.
Though Durant’s words were reflective of a frustrated teammate, Kyrie Irving has recently struck a more positive tone, stating, “It’s not an easy job to be the mayor of New York City. And with COVID looming, the vaccination mandates, everything going on in our world, with this war in Ukraine, and everybody feeling it across America, I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes right now trying to delegate whether or not one basketball player can come and play at home… “But, it’s just the reality that it’s been difficult on a lot of us in New York City and across the world. So, I know he’s feeling it and I’m just grateful that he’s on my side, as well as the commissioner [of the NBA].”
If Kyrie breathes in Barclays Center as a fan and not a player, can Covid still spread? Over the last two years, we’ve all had to make adjustments based on the best available information we had at that particular time, now that Covid is in decline across the 50 states, NYC would benefit from a much-needed timeout to go over its conflicting COVID game-plan.