Kyrie Irving: I understood the Nets choice; incredibly grateful to be back

By Eurohoops team/ [email protected]

The Brooklyn Nets brought Kyrie Irving back to the active roster for the team’s road games and the star guard said he’s “incredibly grateful” to once again play basketball with the squad.

“Incredibly grateful just to be back in the building,” Irving said in his first comments since October. He cleared the health and safety protocols two days ago and had his first practice with the Nets. “Welcomed back with open arms [from] my teammates, the whole organization. Not gonna lie, it has been relatively tough to watch from the sideline with everything going on in the world. I know everybody is feeling it [COVID]. Just praying for everybody to be healthy during these times. If I get the opportunity to get on the court and play with my teammates, even if it is just on the road for away games, I am grateful for the opportunity.”

Irving was left out of the Nets since New York COVID-19 regulations required people to be vaccinated (at least with the first doze) to enter arenas. The seven-time All-Star had refused to be vaccinated and was therefore sidelined until Brooklyn called him back to play and practice in matches outside of New York.

“I understood their decision and respected it,” Irving said. “I really had to sit back and think and try not to become too emotionally attached to what they were deciding to do. I had to really evaluate things and see it from their perspective, meaning the organization, my teammates.

“I really empathized and I understood their choice to say if you are not going to be fully vaccinated, then you can’t be a full [participant],” Irving added.

Irving mentioned that while he was fully aware of the ramifications that his decision would bring, it was one thing to expect them and another to actually remain out of the squad.

“I knew the consequences,” Irving said”I wasn’t prepared for them by no stretch of the imagination. Coming into the season, I had my thought process on being a full-time teammate and just going out and have fun and provide a great brand of basketball. But unfortunately, it didn’t happen like that. Things happen for a reason. We are here, and I am just grateful for this.”


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