Woj: ‘Real optimism’ Kyrie Irving will become full-time player at some point

Kyrie Irving
Jan 12, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) looks to pass the ball against the Chicago Bulls during the first half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

There is still hope that Kyrie Irving will become a full-time player for the Nets at some point this season.

In fact, NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported on SportsCenter on Wednesday night that there was “real optimism” that it could happen. Irving has been limited to playing on the road because of his unvaccinated status.

“As the months evolve between now and the All-Star break into the stretch run of the season and then into the playoffs that enough in the world could change where Kyrie Irving could become a full-time player again. I think that’s real optimism within that organization,” Wojnarowski said.

The ESPN NBA insider also mentioned the New York Daily News report that was published on Wednesday that suggested Irving could play at home if the Nets were willing to pay a fine for allowing the unvaccinated player to do so. The NBA sent out a memo earlier this season that stated teams must follow local laws and players who don’t comply won’t be able to play.

Which would appear to mean that any attempt to skirt the rules would not be met kindly by the NBA or likely New York City’s new Mayor Eric Adams.

Irving has been forced to watch the Nets play at the Barclays Center from his home in New Jersey, and before Brooklyn’s front office allowed him to come back on a part-time basis he was watching every game on the TV.

The Nets superstar guard admitted that he had a hard time at the beginning of the season being away from the team.

“I tried not to get too emotionally attached to it because when I did it just felt like I had FOMO,” Irving said after Wednesday’s win over the Bulls. “Just that feeling of missing out every single day was like man I just want to be with the guys. Once I got over that and we were able to communicate still, just being close to some of the guys on the team. I just felt like we just got closer because now we’re dealing with it together.”