Kyrie Irving was asked following the Brooklyn Nets loss at the Cleveland Cavaliers if the injury to Kevin Durant has made him change his mind about getting vaccinated. Irving's status as an unvaccinated player makes him ineligible to play in home games for the Nets. Irving made it clear that there is nothing that will change his mind on getting vaccinated.
"It's not going to be swayed just because of one thing in this NBA life. That somehow, it's brought to my attention as being more important than what's going on in the real world. It's just not happening for me. Again, I respect everyone else's decision, I'm not going to ever try to convince anyone of anything or any of that, I'm just standing rooted in what I believe in," Irving said. "And though we're dealing with this right now with Kev, I just know that I'm protected by the organization, I'm protected by my teammates, I'm protected by all the doctors I've talked to. And I just stand rooted."
Irving later said he doesn't like that those questioning his decision to be unvaccinated do so in terms of his professional life and not his personal life.
"You're bringing my vaccination status into a basketball game, and I live my life, the majority of the time, when I'm away from this. So, when I say I'm not getting vaccinated and I'm making a choice with my life, somehow it gets mixed into, 'Well, what about the basketball?' When it's like no, bro. We live in a real world," Irving said. "It's great to be able to do this. I'm grateful for the opportunity. I love being with my teammates. I love playing on the Nets, but I've already been away enough time to think about this, to process it, to be able to make this decision, stand strong, understand that people are gonna agree and some people are gonna disagree."