Brad Penner-US TODAY Sports
If the Brooklyn Nets get Kyrie Irving back into the fold sooner or later, Mother Nature will get credit for a stellar assist.
The observatory has been kept away from the Nets this season for his refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine — a decision prompted by New York City’s mandate that anyone who works or performs in indoor venues such as the Barclays Center must be vaccinated.
Until now, the best chance of seeing Irving back on the floor in the NBA was either getting the vaccine, New York City relaxing mandates, or swapping with a team playing in a city with relaxed COVID protocols.
While Irving has never revealed why he’s not getting the vaccine, his stance isn’t softening. Nor will New York Mayor Eric Adams take the view of the Big Apple’s current mandates.
But Bally Sports’ Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson speculated that Irving could be persuaded to take a plant-based COVID-19 vaccine given his diet is “100% plant-based”.
There already appear to be some promising plant-based vaccines on the way to approval.
On Monday, the CBC reported that Medicago — a Canadian biopharmaceutical company — has developed a plant-based vaccine with a 75% efficacy rate against COVID-19 and a 71% efficacy rate against all virus variants.
The Nets have done just fine this season without Irving in their ranks. In their first 23 games, they topped the Eastern Conference with a 16-7 record.
“If we get the gift of his return, we’ll be ecstatic, but we can’t count on it,” Nets head coach Steve Nash said of Irving on Monday. “We can’t wait for him. We have to work and get better. And our group has been great this year.”