The mercurial player appeared on Instagram Live on Wednesday to talk about his reasoning to stick to his decision regarding his vaccination status, saying he chooses “to be unvaccinated.”
According to ESPN, Irving spoke out about the consequences associated with him not getting a coronavirus vaccination and how it’s about his life.
“The financial consequences, I know I do not want to even do that,” Irving stated. “But it is the reality that in order to be in New York City, in order to be on a team, I have to be vaccinated. I chose to be unvaccinated, and that was my choice, and I would ask you all to just respect that choice. I am going to just continue to stay in shape, be ready to play, be ready to rock out with my teammates, and just be part of this whole thing. This is not a political thing; this is not about the NBA, not about any organization. This is about my life and what I am choosing to do.”
Earlier this week, NBA.com reported that the Nets’ All-Star guard will not participate, play, or practice with the Brooklyn Nets until he complies with New York State’s COVID-19 vaccination rules. That decision was announced via a statement by Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks.
Irving was also adamant about the prospects of losing, potentially, millions due to the decision to stay unvaccinated.
“You really think I want to lose money? You think I really want to give up on my dream to go after a championship? You think I really just want to give up my job? Think I really just want to sit at home and not go after the things with my teammates that I have been able to grow with, to learn with, to learn that it takes sacrifice in this space….You think I want to give up my livelihood because of a mandate because I don’t have accommodations because I am unvaccinated? Come on.”
Although Irving will not lose any money from games played on the road, with the two games played at Madison Square Garden, the lone game versus the Golden State Warriors, and the 41 home games he will miss at Barclays Center this season, he stands to lose over $17 million, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks and Tim Bontemps.