Kyrie Irving won’t discuss vaccination status after missing Nets media day

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving reacts during a playoff game against the Milwaukee Bucks
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving reacts during a June 5 playoff game against the Milwaukee Bucks in New York.
(Adam Hunger / Associated Press)

Brooklyn point guard Kyrie Irving refused to answer questions about his vaccination status, citing privacy and humanity, even though unvaccinated NBA players are not currently allowed to practice or play games in New York City.

Irving, speaking remotely from a darkened room, did not attend Nets media day on Monday because of health and safety protocols. Reportedly, he’ll be able to join the team in San Diego for its training camp this week.

“I like to keep that stuff private, man. I’m a human being first. Obviously living in this public sphere, there’s just a lot of questions about what’s going on in the world of Kyrie,” Irving said Monday. “And I think I would just love to keep that private and handle it the right way with my team and go forward together with a plan. Obviously, I’m not able to be present there today. But that doesn’t mean I’m putting any limits on the future on my being able to join the team. And I just want to keep it that way.”


The Nets, who will have Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden together for an entire season, are one of the NBA title favorites. Injuries to Irving and Harden last year in the playoffs led to the team being eliminated in the second round.

Wilson Sporting Goods, which made the official NBA ball for 37 years after the league’s start, will again become the manufacturer, replacing Spalding.

Sept. 27, 2021

After dodging multiple questions about his vaccination status, Irving later seemed to address parts of it when asked about the Nets competing for a title.

“I know that the focus has to be at an all-time high. No distractions,” he said. “This is the last thing I wanted to create — was more distractions and more hoopla and more drama around this. I’m doing my best to maintain with good intentions and good heart, putting God first. And being able to trust the people around me and trust that I can communicate how I’m feeling and then we make something great happen.”