Kyrie Irving put up 22 points in his first game back and played a part in a second-half surge that erased a 19-point deficit to the Indiana Pacers, but the Nets superstar didn’t escape Wednesday night without having to look ahead to where he goes from here with regards to his COVID vaccination status.
The seven-time NBA All-Star remains unvaccinated, which is preventing him from playing in any home games or in Canada, but was asked if his stance on getting vaccinated had changed. For now, it seems that Irving will continue to wait and see.
“Man, I’m just taking it one day at a time,” Irving said. “Like I said earlier in the season, it’s not an ideal situation and I’m always praying that things get figured out and we’re able to come to some collective agreement, whether it be with the league or it’s just things that’s going on that could help kind of ease what we’re all dealing with COVID-19 and the vaccine.
“I think everybody’s feeling it, so I don’t want to make it simply about me and someone lessening the rules for me. I know what the consequences were, I still know what they are, but right now I’m just going to take it one day at a time like I said and just enjoy this time I get to play with my guys. However it looks later in the season, then we’ll address it then.”
"I don't want to make it simply about me and simply about someone lessening the rules for me. I know what the consequences were, I still know what they are. But right now I'm just going to take it one day at a time" – Kyrie Irving on if his vaccine stance has changed pic.twitter.com/l9xNaDwTAw
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) January 6, 2022
Depending on Irving’s vaccination status, and the COVID mandates in the five boroughs, the Nets could be without the guard at home during the postseason. If the Nets finish first in the East, they would secure home-court advantage in the playoffs and would be without one of their top players in potentially series-deciding contests, including a Game 7.
Irving was asked if there was a possibility that he does get vaccinated before his media session ended on Wednesday.
“Come on, man. Don’t hang onto me,” Irving responded with a smile as he stood up from the podium.