NEW YORK (AP) – Kyrie Irving said on Wednesday he didn’t want to lose his salary or a chance to compete for a championship with the Brooklyn Nets, but was doing “what’s best for me” by refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Nets ruled on Tuesday that Irving would not be with the team because he is not eligible to play in home games, where a New York tenure requires professional athletes from one of the city’s teams. be vaccinated for training or playing in public places.
Speaking on Instagram Live, Irving said he loves basketball and is not going to retire.
“I’m doing what’s best for me. I know the consequences here and if that means I’m being judged and demonized for it, that’s exactly what it is, ”Irving said. “This is the role I play, but I never wanted to give up my passion, my love, my dream just during this tenure.
Irving could have trained with the Nets and participated in road games outside of New York. The Nets will pay him for these, but he’s giving up about half of his $ 35 million salary by missing home games.
“So what? It’s not about the money,” Irving said. “It’s not always about the money. It’s about choosing what works best for you. really want to lose money?
Irving said he supports both vaccinated and unvaccinated people and expressed appreciation for the doctors. The All-Star goalie gave no indication he was against the vaccination, just that he decided not to.
“Once again, I will say it again. It’s not about the Nets, it’s not about the organization, it’s not about the NBA, it’s not about politics, ”Irving said. “It’s not just anything.
“It’s just about the freedom of what I want to do.
Irving has not spoken to reporters since Nets media day on September 27, when he appeared via Zoom and requested confidentiality when asked about his vaccination status.
The Nets are championship contenders and Irving has said he doesn’t want to miss the opportunity he has with them. General manager Sean Marks said the team would happily welcome Irving under the right circumstances, and Irving has made it clear he will be playing again.
“No I’m not retiring and no I’m not going to quit this game like that,” Irving said. “There is still so much work to do and there is still so much more (young) to inspire, because I know they want to be better than me.”
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