Plant-based COVID-19 vaccine could be Kyrie Irving’s ticket back to Nets

Kyrie Irving Nets
Kyrie Irving
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

If the Brooklyn Nets get Kyrie Irving back into the fold sooner rather than later, Mother Nature stands to get the credit for one heck of an assist.

The star point guard has been kept away from the Nets this season for his refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine — a decision prompted by New York City’s mandate stating that all those working or performing within indoor venues such as the Barclays Center must be vaccinated.

Until now, the best chance of seeing Irving back on the floor in the NBA was either him getting the vaccine, New York City easing up on those mandates, or getting traded to a team that plays in a city with relaxed COVID protocols.

While Irving never disclosed why he isn’t getting the vaccine, his stance isn’t softening. Neither will the view of NYC Mayor-elect Eric Adams on the Big Apple’s current mandates.

But Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson of Bally Sports speculated that Irving could be swayed to take a plant-based COVID-19 vaccine considering his diet is “100% plant-based.”

There already appears to be some promising plant-based vaccines that are inching toward approval.

On Monday, the CBC reported that Medicago — a Canadian biopharmaceutical company — has developed a plant-based vaccine that shows a 75% efficacy rate against COVID-19 and a 71% efficacy rate against all virus variants.

The Nets have fared just fine without Irving in their ranks this season. Through their first 23 games, they sat atop the Eastern Conference with a 16-7 record.

“If we get the gift of his return, we’ll be ecstatic, but we can’t count on it,” Nets head coach Steve Nash said of Irving on Monday. “We can’t wait for him. We have to get to work and get better. And our group’s been awesome this year.”