Kyrie Irving said Wednesday that she doesn’t want to lose a salary or a chance to compete for a championship with the Brooklyn Nets, but is doing “what’s best for me” by refusing to get the COVID vaccine- 19.
The Nets decided on Tuesday that Irving will not be with the team because he is not eligible to play in home games, where a New York mandate requires professional athletes on one of the city’s teams to be vaccinated to train or play in public places.
Speaking to Instagram Live, Irving said he loves basketball and he won’t retire.
“I’m doing what’s best for me. I know the consequences here and if it means I’m being judged and demonized for that, that’s really just that,” Irving said. “That’s my role, but I don’t want to give up. my passion, my love, my dream over this mandate. “
Irving could practice with the Nets and play in road games outside of New York. The Nets will pay him for that but he gives up half of his $ 35 million salary by losing home games.
“E what now? It’s not about money,” Irving said. “It’s not always about money. It’s about choosing what’s best for you. Do you think I’d really lose money?”
Irving said he supports people who have not and have not been vaccinated and expressed appreciation to doctors. The All-Star guard did not give any hint that he was against vaccination, which he simply decided not to.
“Again, I will repeat it. 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 anything.
“It’s just about the freedom of what I want to do.”
Irving has not spoken to reporters since Nets media day on Sept. 27, when he appeared via Zoom and asked for privacy when asked about his vaccination status.
The Nets are championship contenders and Irving said he doesn’t want to miss the opportunity he has with them. General manager Sean Marks said he would be pleased that the team would accept Irving under the right circumstances, and Irving clarified that he would play again.
“No, I’m not retiring and I’m not. I’m not going and leaving this game like this,” Irving said. “There’s a lot more to do and there’s a lot more (young people) to inspire, because I know they want to be better than me.”