kyrie irving brooklyn nets
Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving’s vaccination status is still up in the air and this storyline took over Brooklyn Nets media day.

Danny Small

Kyrie Irving‘s availability for the 2021-22 season is the biggest question mark floating around the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA at large right now. Rolling Stone’s recent piece on anti-vaxxers in the NBA was centered around Irving.

To be clear, the NBA is not requiring all of its players to be vaccinated, but they will follow local guidelines when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccination. New York, San Francisco, and Toronto currently require vaccinations for indoor entertainment. Irving won’t be able to play in home games if he refuses the COVID-19 vaccination.

Due to health and safety protocols, Irving was not allowed at Nets media day. He completed his availability over Zoom. When asked about his vaccination status, Irving asked for privacy.

“I like to keep that stuff private,” Irving told reporters. “Living in the public sphere, there’s a lot of questions about what’s going on in the world of Kyrie, but I’d like to keep that stuff private.”

This question was asked a few more times and it was rebuffed each time.

No Limits

For what it’s worth, the Nets are having their training camp in San Diego and Irving will be able to join his teammates regardless of his vaccination status.

One of the standout moments of Irving’s presser came on the very first question. He mentioned that he won’t be putting “any limits” on his potential availability going forward. This might hint at the fact that Irving will be getting vaccinated before he has to miss any time.

With all of that said, we know Kyrie Irving marches to the beat of his own drum. He will do what he wants, when he wants, regardless of public perception. This was true when Irving took what was seemingly an unannounced sabbatical in the middle of the season.

“Will He, Won’t He” — the Kyrie Irving story.

We have come to expect the unexpected, but Irving’s teammates seem confident in his availability going forward.

What the Rest of the Nets are Saying

Kyrie Irving Extension Update

There is no real update on Kyrie Irving’s potential contract extension. His vaccination status took center stage while the contract talk takes a back seat. It’s unclear whether Irving’s vaccination status is playing a role in contract negotiations.

Nets general manager Sean Marks mentioned a soft deadline of training camp for when he wanted to sign Irving and James Harden to extensions. No news is good news doesn’t necessarily apply here.

Although Kevin Durant‘s extension is already signed, sealed, and delivered, Marks still has some work left to do. After all, he was the one who brought up day one of training camp as the deadline for extensions. It seems the Nets have bigger worries at the moment.