Kyrie Irving refused to answer questions about his COVID-19 vaccine status during Nets media day at Monday, although his situation left little room for interpretation.
Irving, who would not be allowed in the Barclays Center unvaccinated according to New York City regulations, performed his availability on Instagram Live away from the rest of his teammates. A reporter asked him about his vaccination status — a heated topic as the NBA kicks back into gear.
“No comment,” Irving said. “I like to keep that stuff private. I know I will be there for my growing team. I’m not putting any limits on being with the team going forward. I don’t want to create distractions.”
In response to a second question, Irving repeated his stance.
“Please respect my privacy, next question,” he said.
Irving appears to have embraced anti-vaccine conspiracy theories based on his social-media activity. The former Celtics star, who is a vice president of the player’s union, could miss every Nets home game if he refuses to be vaccinated. If Irving is fully healthy all season, he would play only 37 games during the regular season — potentially also missing road games against the Knicks and Warriors.
At Celtics media day, Brad Stevens acknowledged that the Celtics too have had issues getting everyone vaccinated.
“Our hope is that we get as close to 100 percent vaccinated as possible as soon as possible,” Stevens said. “That’s our hope, that’s our desire. Obviously we’ll continue to work from our end on what we can do, and work from the educational standpoint within the organization and do what we can, and at the same time everybody has to make that decision for themselves.”