December 9, 2022

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Kyrie Irving says he misplaced $100 million as a result of he selected to not get vaccinated

Talking on the Nets media day this week, Irving instructed the press that his choice to not get vaccinated for the COVID-19 vaccine final yr value him time — and thousands and thousands of {dollars}.

“I gave up a 4 yr, 100-something million greenback choice to not get vaccinated and that was the choice.” said Irving. “(Get that) contract, get vaccinated – or don’t get vaccinated, and there’s a degree of uncertainty about your future, whether or not you’re going to be on this league, whether or not you’re going to be on this group. So I needed to face the realities of shedding my job for that call.”

NBA gamers are usually not required to be vaccinated by the league however have needed to endure stricter COVID protocols as a part of the league’s pandemic security measures final season. However in New York Metropolis, the place the Nets play, there was a company vaccination mandate final season that stored Irving from attending residence video games. Consequently, he missed dozens of video games and appeared in simply 29 of the 82 video games for the Nets final season.

That Nets had been supposed to offer Kyrie a brand new contract final yr, however Irving stated he would solely have been formally supplied the contract if he had been vaccinated in opposition to COVID and thus might play in residence video games. However since Irving by no means bought the vaccine, he stated they by no means agreed to a brand new contract.

“I didn’t notice that being unvaccinated all of a sudden turned a stigma in my profession that I don’t need to play, or that I’m keen to surrender all the pieces to be a voice for the unvoiced.” Irving continued.

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Sean Marks, Nets normal supervisor liable for the group’s contract negotiations, dismissed Irving’s claims that there was a proper ultimatum for the Irving vaccine, which stalled contract negotiations.

“There’s no ultimatum right here,” Marks stated. “Once more, the purpose right here is that you really want dependable individuals, people who find themselves right here and take accountability. All of us: workers, gamers, coaches, no matter. It’s not about giving somebody an ultimatum to get a vaccine. That’s a really private choice. I stand by Kyrie. I feel if he needs, he made that alternative. That’s totally his prerogative.”

Based on ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Irving was eligible for a five-year, $246 million cope with the Nets final yr, however the sides by no means settled on a deal. Irving is at the moment taking part in with a remaining one-year contract value about 36 million {dollars}.

Irving says his choice to not get vaccinated not solely value him thousands and thousands in a brand new cope with the Nets that by no means materialized, however him too misplaced cash on his present deal, to. When Irving sat out video games he couldn’t attend due to New York Metropolis’s vaccination order final season, he was fined as much as $15 million by the Nets.

Kyrie Irving’s profession earnings by the tip of the 2022-23 NBA season are nonetheless surpassed $230 million. Irving additionally has sponsorship offers with Pepsi PEP,
+1.44%,
2K Sports activities and Nike NKE,
+2.92%.

New York Metropolis has since ended its vaccination mandate, permitting Irving to attend Nets residence video games this season.

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