Former NBA Star Eddie Johnson on Kyrie Irving’s Nets Return: “I Just Don’t Think It’s Going To Work”

Published 12/17/2021, 9:47 PM EST
Dec 1, 2021; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (right) walks court-side during the second half of the game between the Seton Hall Pirates and the Wagner Seahawks at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports


The Brooklyn Nets have been a team that has continued to bag wins despite all the complications that they have had to face so far during the 2021-22 NBA campaign. Many of the Nets’ best players have been kept off the lineup and entered into the league’s health and safety protocols. However, Kyrie Irving is an exception, due to a decision he took regarding his vaccination.

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This led to the team taking a collective decision to keep him away from the games he could participate in.

However, now, both Brooklyn and Irving have called it a truce as the organization welcomes him back to the lineup. There is a catch, though. The 29-year-old point guard still hasn’t changed his decision about the vaccination.

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This will only allow him to play road games and can only practice with the team at home. This means, unfortunately, he will still be banned from playing in New York as per the state’s mandate. Yes, it does sound quite messy.

That is the reason why former NBA player, Eddie Johnson thinks that this plan will not come to fruition.

In an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio, he said, “I want to see how this works out because this is a unique situation. He is not injured. When Bill Walton was doing it, he had a bad foot. He just couldn’t play every game. But a guy that can score 35 on a row, play out of his mind, and then he got a game at home the next night and he can’t play. See, that’s when it starts to create some issues. I just don’t think it’s going to work.

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This decision was made in light of all the sudden absences that the Nets have had to face in the lineup. James Harden, Bruce Brown, Paul Millsap, LaMarcus Aldridge, De’Andre Bembry, James Johnson, and Jevon Carter have all entered the NBA’s health and safety protocol.

This has seriously put too much pressure on the shoulders of those NBA stars that have been carrying the Nets to glory so far, especially Kevin Durant. The Brooklyn Nets are the team with the best record in the East and are on a four-game winning streak. However, things change very quickly when it comes to standings in the conferences.

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In order to slip up and put all that they’ve worked for until now this season, the decision to bring Irving back as a part-time player was made. Although, they won’t make it so easy for Irving. He will have to test negative for five straight days until he can return. Even when he does, he will have to undergo daily testing.

Jun 5, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts after a three point shot against the Milwaukee Bucks during the first quarter of game one in the Eastern Conference semifinals of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Sadly, the circumstances force such harsh measures. In fact, this team isn’t the only one that has players missing out on the action because of the sudden surge in cases. Nonetheless, Johnson may think this won’t work, but if the Brooklyn Nets have to keep up with their performances, and Irving wants to play, they will have to co-operate.

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We will have to wait to find how that works out.

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Yashima Bhatia

1803 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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