The Nets are more hopeful about Kyrie Irving’s comeback

The Nets are more hopeful about Kyrie Irving's comeback

Tech Highlights:

  • there is fresh confidence inside the Nets organisation that Irving will play this season.

  • Given New York’s vaccination mandate, which requires all players on the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks to obtain at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in order to participate in home games, it was uncertain if All-Star guard Kyrie Irving would play in the 2021-22 NBA season. Irving has been insistent about not getting the vaccination, and the Nets didn’t want him to start the season as a part-time player, which would have limited him to road games.

“It remains unclear whether Irving’s potential return this season would come via vaccination to meet New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement or by Brooklyn opening the door for him to play road games and practice at home, but sources have indicated a renewed belief that Irving could play this season after all. Nets players and coaches want to have Irving rejoin the team as soon as possible. In recent weeks, Irving and Kevin Durant, his co-star and close friend, have had increased communication about his fit on the team, breaking down the games, and about life in general, sources added. There appears to be an increased level of enthusiasm between the two superstars.”

The easiest route right now seems to be the Nets allowing Irving to become a part-time player, something the team was against at the start of the season. But Irving’s absence has put a strain on the Nets, specifically for Durant and James Harden. Both players are logging over 36 minutes a night, and with Harden’s offensive inefficiency to start the season, its put a bulk of the scoring responsibility on Durant’s shoulders this season.

This is a different stance than what was reported a couple weeks ago with the Nets being open to the idea of trading Irving as the guard wasn’t close on deciding to get the vaccine. Brooklyn has said publicly on multiple occasions it would welcome Irving back with open arms if he decided to get the vaccine or if New York City were to lift its vaccine mandate. However, mayor-elect Eric Adams does not plan to make any changes to the current vaccine mandate in place. New York City also plans to implement a more robust vaccine mandate on Dec. 27, which will require all private sector employees to be fully vaccinated, meaning two shots of Pfizer or Moderna, or one shot of Johnson & Johnson.

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