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Kyrie's basketball legacy not as important as his personal beliefs

Jan 19, 2022 0 comments

 Team sports are all about sacrifice. I'm the last one to tell anyone what to put in their body, period. When you're Novak Djokovic, of course you're letting down your fans and those expecting you to rewrite major tennis history at this year's Australian Open.

But for Kyrie Irving, his decision to remain unvaccinated has far reaching consequences beyond an individual sport such as tennis.

Djokovic's choice impacts his own legacy, while Irving's impacts not only that but his team's championship pursuit.

Team sports are predicated on sacrifice including: minutes, money, recognition, family time and off the court pursuits.

Players aiming to win a title often throw themselves  full bore into that cause for the betterment of the team and to inspire teammates.

Irving is considered a team leader, a source of inspiration for the locker room and without saying, one of the team's most dynamic players. So when Kyrie indicates he's no closer to complying with local vaccine mandates than he was back when training camp opened in July, while it's not unexpected for a player dug in firmly on his stance, it makes you wonder whether he's putting himself and his own beliefs ahead of the team?

Irving cannot be the only individual or NBA player with reservations about the vaccine and each person should be judged on a case by case basis, but the Nets' guard still hasn't made it clear why he's unwilling to join the rest of his teammates in a full-time capacity.

At the end of the day, the choice is Irving's and his alone, but with every choice there are consequences. Assuming things stay status quo, despite the Omicron variant spiking and now on the downturn, the Nets can't rely on Irving to help carry them to the promise land.

The New Jersey native convinced Durant to join his childhood team and bring a first ever championship to the club. Without Irving, there is no Durant, but when faced with a conundrum of sacrificing personal belief for the betterment of the team, Irving has landed on the side of doing what's best for him.

Where that leaves the Nets this season remains to be seen. Will they bow out of the second round of the playoffs again with Kyrie at home on his couch during a decisive Game 7 at Barclays Center?

Will they hoist the Larry O'Brien in Brooklyn without Irving there to enjoy the fruits of the team's labor. This is a bizarre situation that has no end in sight, so while it's fine to defend to the death an individual's right to choose, there comes with that real consequences and in a team sport, the team should come ahead of the individual. For Irving, that hasn't been the case over the course of his career and certainly isn't the case now.


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