When the drama behind Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving’s decision to not get vaccinated began, a whirlwind of rumors followed. It started with trade rumors. Notably a swap of him for Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons. But the most notable rumor was that if the Nets were to trade their starting point guard, he would retire immediately. Kyrie had an Instagram live session on Wednesday night and addressed those retirement rumors and much more.
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Kyrie Irving Shuts Down Retirement Rumors
Irving has played 10 seasons in the NBA. That won’t come to an end anytime soon as he vehemently denies all of the rumors that he would retire.
“Nobody’s hijacking this voice. And see if they play this on their TV channels and see if they play this actual truth somewhere before you start talking about me and what I’m doing with my life. And no, I’m not retiring, and no I’m not leaving this game like this.” Kyrie said on Instagram live on October 13 per Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson.
Irving also says that he realizes he is sacrificing a lot with his decision not to get vaccinated. Including a legitimate shot at this year’s NBA title. But for him, the decision to not get vaccinated is a lot bigger than basketball.
“You think I want to lose money and my livelihood this is what I have been working for since I was in the fourth grade,” Irving said on Instagram per Landon Buford. “I don’t want to lose my dream because of a mandate or what is happening in the world.”
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Kyrie Irving Confirms That He Is Not Anti-Vaxx
Shams Charania of “The Athletic” reported on October 12 that Irving’s decision to not get vaccinated was not actually about him not wanting to get the vaccine. Rather Irving’s decision was about the people who lost their jobs because they refused to take the vaccine. Kyrie confirmed that report during his Wednesday night Instagram live session.
“I’m standing with all those that believe what is right. Everybody is entitled to do what they feel is what’s best for themselves. Seeing the way this is dividing our world up…it’s sad to see…People are losing jobs to mandates,” Irving said on Instagram per Charania.
“It’s not being anti-vax. It’s about what feels good to me. I’m feeling uncertain … and that’s OK. I know the consequences of the decision I make with my life. It’s crazy times that we’re in. I haven’t hurt anybody. I haven’t committed a crime.”
Irving also added that although he has chosen to not get the vaccine, he still supports those that have. Because when it is all said and done it’s about supporting people doing what is best for them.
“If you choose to get the vaccine, I support you. Do what’s best for you. I continue to pray for all those out there who have lost people to the pandemic to COVID,” Irving said.
James Harden Weighs in on Kyrie’s Decision
With everything that has gone on with Kyrie’s status for this season some wonder how it will affect the pending contract extension of Nets star James Harden. Although the situation is not ideal Harden says that he and the rest of the Nets respect Irving’s decision. But the goal remains the same. That being to win the NBA title.
“Kyrie believes in his beliefs, and he stands firmly. We respect it, we all love Ky,” Harden said per Brian Lewis of the “New York Post.” “But we have a job to do, and individually myself, I’m still wanting to set myself up for a championship. The entire organization is on the same path”
The major takeaway from Kyrie’s Instagram live session is that he seems perfectly content with not playing basketball. At least for now. If there is one positive for the Nets it is that Irving has publicly stated he won’t retire, which could make it easier to trade him to another team if they choose to move on from him .
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