Durant said he has not spoken to Irving since the Nets decided Tuesday that their starting point guard will not practice or play for the team until he meets New York City’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate for players. But Durant remains optimistic that the situation “will work out” eventually.
“I definitely want Kyrie to be around,” Durant told reporters Thursday after the Nets completed their preseason with a 107-101 victory over the Timberwolves. “I wish none of this would happen, but this is the situation we find ourselves in. Kyrie made her decision about what she wanted to do and she chose to do what she wanted to do and the team did the same.”
“It’s up to me to focus, do my job and let those two parties handle that situation. I want our whole team together, and I want us to be with all our strength, but sometimes it doesn’t work out. But I’m still sure that things will work out. better for both parties. “
Irving said Wednesday night on Instagram that while he still hopes to play this season for the Nets, he has chosen not to receive at least one COVID-19 vaccine as required by New York City to play at home at the Barclays Center and in Madison. Square Garden, home of the Knicks.
Irving said he is neither pro-vaccine nor anti-vaccine and that he respects both sides. He also reiterated that he is not at odds with the Nets organization nor is he making a political statement.
Durant, who teamed up with Irving to come to Brooklyn in free agency in 2019, said he’s not upset that he can’t play Irving when the Nets enter this season with championship expectations.
“We can still do [lo que] we love to do it every day, “said Durant.” … This is not the ideal situation to start the season. But some of this is out of our control. So what we can do is focus on our work every day. To do? We’re not going to change our mind, you know what I’m saying? We’ll let you figure out what you need to do and let the team figure out what to do. “
Durant later told reporters that “I can’t be too mad at someone who makes a decision for themselves.”
“Who am I to bother about that? I just have to focus on what we have in this locker room,” he said. “When [Irving] be ready, i’m sure you will talk to [el dueño del equipo] Joe [Tsai] and [el gerente general] Sean [Marks] and they will figure it out and tell us. “