Former Duke basketball star guard Kyrie Irving has announced his future plans in the NBA.
The Kyrie Irving vs. Brooklyn Nets saga certainly has not come to an end, but the former Duke basketball point guard has written a new chapter in the book.
Irving took to Instagram Live late Wednesday night to finally address the elephant in the room of him not being vaccinated and ultimately being banned from the Brooklyn Nets.
The New Jersey native is only allowed to practice and play in road games for the Nets this season, as currently under the COVID-19 vaccine mandates set by the City of New York. And after Brooklyn seemed to be on board with Irving only playing in road games, the franchise took the next step in announcing he will not play this season unless his vaccination status changes or the mandates in New York are lifted.
Many NBA analysts and commentators have laid out the potential next steps for Kyrie Irving, and one of his options seems to be retirement.
However, Irving clearly stated on Wednesday that he is not hanging up the sneakers, “And no, I am not retiring. And no, I am not going and leaving this game like this. There is still so much more work to do.”
Irving said that he is neither pro-vaccine nor anti-vaccine, rather he is against the mandates and wants to serve as a voice to the voiceless who are being forced to take the vaccine in order to keep their jobs in New York City.
Kyrie Irving is also facing forfeiting nearly $17 million for missed home games this season, another fact that many have talked about in questioning the All-Star’s decision not to get vaccinated.
“Yo, you are going to lose out on money; you are going to lose out on this. So what. It is not about the money, baby. It is about choosing what is best for you,” Irving said.
NBA insider Shams Charania reported that the Nets will no longer be offering Irving a $186 million extension after this season.
Brooklyn has already signed Kevin Durant to an extension and continues contract talks with James Harden.
Duke basketball comes to the aid and defense of Kyrie Irving
The Duke Men’s Basketball official Instagram account appeared in Irving’s Instagram Live showing support for its former player, commenting “100” emojis as well as the “speaking head” emoji.
Current Blue Devil assistant coach Nolan Smith came to the defense of his former teammate on Twitter following the ban put forth by the Nets on Tuesday.
Jay Williams, a current ESPN Radio host and television analyst, also came to the defense of Kyrie Irving on ESPN’s First Take as host Stephen A. Smith continues to bash Irving over his choice not to be vaccinated.
The Brooklyn Nets open the regular season on Tuesday, October 19 on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks.