kyrie irving
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving will be a full-time player sooner rather than later.

The rest of the NBA’s worst nightmare is about to come true. The Brooklyn Nets are forming up like Voltron and Kyrie Irving is going to be a big part of that monstrosity.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams isn’t just hinting at an end to the vaccine mandate — he “can’t wait to get it done.”

Let’s put aside what this means for New Yorkers for a moment and focus on what this means for the Nets. First of all, it puts an end to the current melodrama surrounding the unvaccinated Irving.

The seven-time All-Star was originally told to stay away from the Nets due to the fact that he was only eligible for away games. Injuries and general inconsistency forced the Nets to rethink that plan, and they welcomed Irving back with open arms — but only for away games.


Following the Omicron surge, COVID-19 numbers have dropped in New York City. As time went on, the Nets seemed to be more and more optimistic that NYC’s vaccine mandate would soon be lifted. The writing has been on the wall for weeks now, but the latest statement from Mayor Adams is all but a confirmation that things are changing.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently weighed in on the NYC vaccine mandate, questioning the hypocrisy of it. Silver wondered out loud why a player like Irving is barred from home games, but an unvaccinated player on an away team was eligible to play in Barclays Center or Madison Square Garden.

Again, the writing has been on the wall for weeks now.

What will the full-strength Nets look like?

In one word: Scary.

Scary for the rest of the league considering the fact that they used the last two months to rejigger the roster with a blockbuster trade and a major buyout signing.

There are a number of different lineup permutations that Nets coach Steve Nash could try out. If he wants to go big, he can start Andre Drummond at center alongside Ben Simmons and Kevin Durant.

If the Nets want to surround Simmons, Irving, and Durant with shooting, they have Patty Mills, Seth Curry, and Goran Dragic at the ready. There’s a decent chance that Joe Harris returns at some point this year as well.

Of course, the ceiling for this team is going to depend heavily on Durant’s health, but the same is true for plenty of NBA teams in regards to a star player.

Brooklyn’s starting lineup in their last game before the All-Star break looked like this:

  • PG: Patty Mills
  • SG: Seth Curry
  • SF: Bruce Brown
  • PF: Kessler Edwards
  • C: Andre Drummond

When Durant returns, Brooklyn’s rotation could look like this:

  • PG: Kyrie Irving
  • SG: Seth Curry
  • SF: Kevin Durant
  • PF: Ben Simmons
  • C: Andre Drummond
  • BN: Goran Dragic
  • BN: LaMarcus Aldridge
  • BN: Patty Mills
  • BN: Cam Thomas
  • BN: Bruce Brown
  • BN: Blake Griffin
  • BN: James Johnson
  • BN: Nic Claxton
  • INJ: Joe Harris

If the Nets are healthy, they are the favorite to win the NBA Finals.

Knicks, Nets, NY/NJ college hoops, and sports betting reporter. Mostly basketball, but a little bit of everything when it comes to NY sports. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.