No matter where you stand on vaccinations - and that's not really a topic we need to get into in this space - there was no doubt that a powder keg was coming between unvaccinated players, local mandates and the NBA as a whole.
Some, like Andrew Wiggins relented, although he admitted after that it was only because he felt like his entire NBA career depended on it. Others, like Kyrie Irving, Bradley Beal and Jonathan Isaac seem to be holding their line in the sand, potentially making them ineligible to play in certain cities, where vaccine passports required to enter indoor venues.
So yeah, we knew something was coming, and it did on Tuesday, as the Brooklyn Nets announced that Kyrie Irving has essentially been suspended from the team for refusing to get the vaccine. While he would've been allowed to practice with the team (as they are considered a privately owned entity) he would not have been allowed to play in games.
Now, he won't have the choice to show up at either.
Here is what Brooklyn Nets GM Sean Marks had to say about the decision.
Again, this article isn't really to debate the merits of vaccines, or the mandates of them. You can argue with your old friends from high school on Facebook about that.
Instead, it's about the consequences of said decisions.
All of a sudden, a team that is currently the favorite to win the NBA title according to DraftKings Sportsbook, is on the brink of losing one of the 10 most talented basketball players on the planet for an extended period of time.
The question now is, if they're going to push him out the door altogether.
That's because once the news went public on Tuesday, one of the biggest voices in sports media weighed in with the consequences. And Stephen A. Smith believes that the Nets are at their wits end, and may be ready to move on from Irving altogether.
From Smith directly:
“They’d give his ass away for a box of cookies if they could. They’re so disgusted with this dude. I’m telling you what I know.
So that just about settles it then, huh?
It appears so, as no matter what you think about Stephen A., it's no secret that he is really well-plugged in with the powers that be in the NBA, be it players, their agents, camps and front offices.
If he's telling you that the Nets are willing to trade Kyrie, just know, the Nets are willing to trade Kyrie. And not only that the Nets are willing to trade Kyrie, but that Kevin Durant had to have signed off on it.
Of course it's also publicly been stated that if he gets traded, Kyrie is ready to retire.
So, just another day in the NBA huh?
Remember how Lane Kiffin said "Get your popcorn ready" a few days ago?
It appears as though we ain't seen nothing yet.
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