NBA's Brooklyn Nets ban player Kyrie Irving from team until vaccination
· · Oct 13, 2021 ·

Out with the old "Shut up and dribble."

In with the new "Shut up and vaccinate."

NBA player Kyrie Irving and his employer, the Brooklyn Nets, have reached an impasse.

Irving doesn't want to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Nets general manager Sean Marks and owner Joe Tsai have decided Irving must get vaccinated to participate with the team at all.

"[Irving] has a choice to make, and he made his choice," Marks said. "My job here is to make what we deem as the best choices for the organization moving ahead as a whole. They're not always ones that are going to be met with open arms and thumbs up. These are hard decisions."

"Kyrie has made it clear he has a choice in this matter and it's ultimately going to be up to him what he decides. We respect the fact that he has a choice and he can make his own right to choose."

"Right now, what's best for the organization is the path we are taking."

"What's best for the organization"... Sure, buddy.

According to a report from The Athletic, "a source close to Irving" said he told his teammates he was "upset that people are losing their jobs due to vaccine mandates," and that he wants to be "a voice for the voiceless."

Teammate Kevin Durant said he and the team want Irving "here for the whole thing" and hope all parties involved can "figure this thing out."

"Kyrie talks about it as a sort of personal choice issue, which I respect. But we all need to not forget our goal," Tsai said last month. "The championship team needs to have everybody pulling the same direction."

Tsai's confusion over someone making a personal health decision is so tone-deaf that it's jarring.

The Nets' first game of the regular season tips off next Tuesday. I guess we'll have to wait and see whether Irving will bend the knee or not. Evidently, the Nets are more committed to the cult of Branch Covidianism than they are to winning an NBA title.

"We're looking at putting a group of people that are going to be able to participate fully. That's what this comes down to, and we're not looking for partners that are going to be half-time," Marks said.

All I've got to say is: Good luck being a championship team without Kyrie. Not even LeBron overcame his absence in the 2018 NBA Finals.

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