More than 95 percent of the players are immunized. But Brooklyn star Kyrie Irving refuses.
The National Basketball Association kicks off the new season with a vaccination debate. Like a prayer wheel, the league has asked the players in recent weeks to carry out corona vaccinations. More than 95 percent have already done this. A sometimes heated discussion has broken out about a reluctant actor. Kyrie Irving brings championship favorite Brooklyn into the headlines differently than desired.
Even legend Michael Jordan spoke in the cause a week before the opening game between champion Milwaukee and Brooklyn on Wednesday night. “Hopefully everyone will stick to whatever the league prompts. If everyone sticks to it, we'll get out well, ”said the six-time champion with the Chicago Bulls and now owner of the Charlotte Hornets.
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Jordan is not alone in his opinion. Kyrie Irving leaves. The eccentric 29-year-old is missing from the Nets until further notice. The club recently announced that he will not play games or take part in training sessions. Due to the Corona regulation in force in New York City, Irving is not allowed to enter a sports hall because he has not provided the necessary proof of vaccination. He emphasized doing what was best for him. “I know the consequences and if that means that I will be judged and demonized for it, then that's the way it is.”
In principle, a curiosity would have arisen for the Nets: Irving could be used in away games. The regulation does not apply because the club is not registered as a company in the cities concerned. However, the Nets did without it. Attempts were made to change Irving's mind, reported teammate James Harden. Vain. “Kyrie has his views. He stands up for them. We respect that. ”In return, Irving has to waive his fee. The NBA has stated that players who fail to meet local vaccination regulations and fail to play games will lose their salaries. The Guard made $ 35.3 million this season.
Regardless of the hustle and bustle for their star, the Nets are the first contenders for the championship thanks to their star squad around Kevin Durant and Harden. Last season, coach Steve Nash's team failed in the play-off quarter-finals at Milwaukee. Irving was out injured, Harden was anything but fit. Still, Durant almost single-handedly advanced the Nets. According to experts, Brooklyn is the strongest team in the NBA on the offensive.
The glamor troupe of the west is considered to be the first challenger. The LA Lakers around superstar LeBron James have repositioned themselves in the summer and rely on concentrated experience. With Russell Westbrook (32) came a top thrower in the league, Dwight Howard (35) and Rajon Rondo (35) returned to the franchise with which they had won the title in 2020. Also new to the Californians is Carmelo Anthony, who at the age of 37 is looking for his first championship ring.
Lebron James vaccinated
As in New York, strict corona rules will also apply in Los Angeles and San Francisco in the future. Unlike the Nets, the teams based there – in addition to the Lakers, the LA Clippers, the New York Knicks and the Golden State Warriors – reportedly have no problems. James was vaccinated after his own “research”. “I had the feeling that it was not only best for me, but also for my family and friends,” emphasized the 36-year-old. However, he did not want his decision to be understood as a recommendation for action.
The current master stayed a little under the radar. Milwaukee is ranked high again this year. The Bucks can rely on their supporters Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday. After winning the final, Middleton and Holiday traveled to Tokyo via the Phoenix Suns to win gold with the USA at the Olympics. The team will have to make sure that the stars take necessary breaks. Antetokounmpo knew: “The other teams will want to chase us. But we have to have this hunter mentality ourselves. “
Austria's contribution to the elite basketball league can only dream of the play-off. Jakob Pöltl recently missed the “post-season” again with the San Antonio Spurs, long-term coach Gregg Popovich (with Spurs since 1996) has rallied a young team without a single star after the departure of top scorer DeMar DeRozan or Rudy Gay.
Pöltl will play an even bigger role in his sixth NBA season, the fourth for the Texans. It will be up to players like Dejounte Murray, Derrick White or himself to run the Spurs. “We have to take another step in order to lead a team as a leading player,” said Pöltl. San Antonio starts the season on Thursday night against Orlando Magic.