This season, the Brooklyn Nets had to make a tough decision regarding their unvaccinated All-Star point guard, Kyrie Irving. As no member of the Nets would be permitted to play in home games if they were unvaccinated, Irving automatically became ineligible to participate in 50-percent of Brooklyn's schedule.
At first, it seemed the Nets were open to having Irving travel with the team and play in road games only, but then they made the tough decision to shut Irving down for the year unless he decides to get vaccinated.
"We have decided Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant," said Nets General Manager Sean Marks in a statement back in October. "Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose. Currently, his choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability."
So far, Brooklyn's decision to shut Irving down for the year unless he gets vaccinated hasn't forced the All-Star's hand to get the shot. And in a new update regarding Irving's current stance, Shams Charania of The Athletic reveals that Irving is still set on remaining unvaccinated 21 games into the Nets' season. So, he won't be playing in Brooklyn anytime soon and reportedly doesn't intend to play again unless a trade happens.
"Kyrie Irving is nowhere closer to getting the vaccine and he's not gonna play basketball unless he gets traded. Because unless the Nets come up someday and say, 'fine, we're gonna let you play road games, we're gonna let you practice at home, we're changing our stance.' Or unless Kyrie Irving decides to get the shot [he won't play]," Charania said. h/t Fadeaway World.
The Nets are reportedly open to trading away Irving, but there isn't a market for the 29-year-old star at this time. While the Sixers have been linked to Kyrie Irving throughout the 2021-2022 offseason as their All-Star point guard is disgruntled and has no intentions of playing for them as well, countless reports have indicated that there haven't been any trade discussions regarding an Irving-Simmons swap.
Brooklyn will have a hard time trading Irving, but they are fine without him for the time being. Over the last ten games, the Nets have fired off eight wins. They currently lead the Eastern Conference with a 16-6 record. While regular-season success doesn't translate to championships, the Nets look to be in good shape even without their seven-time All-Star on the floor.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.