Losing a player to injury is a cause for serious concern, but missing a star because of vaccination requirements is outright demoralizing. While the national discourse centers on the ethical implications of Kyrie Irving’s decision to refuse the COVID-19 vaccine, the Brooklyn Nets are days away from a season with the highest stake in franchise history.
Nets brass has made it clear that Irving will not play for the team so long as he refuses vaccination, but someone will have to fill those minutes in the rotation. Luckily for them, Brooklyn rosters one of the deepest rotations of talent in professional sports headlined by two players capable of manufacturing an entire offense unto themselves in Kevin Durant and James Harden.
Operating under the assumption that Kyrie Irving won’t lace up this year, the Brooklyn Nets need to figure out their updated point guard rotation quickly.
Brooklyn’s preseason debut would suggest that fourth-year journeyman Jevon Carter is in line for an influx of minutes; although preseason isn’t a great indicator for what’s coming when wins and losses count most.
The team added Australian sensation Patty Mills from the San Antonio Spurs this offseason, and while he’s never been a featured point guard in the NBA, he’s got the leadership qualities to assume a greater role. Or, they could come from left field and lean on rookie scoring phenom Cam Thomas for spot minutes until Irving’s return.
Playing without their perennial All-Star and showstopping crossover artist is surely less than ideal, but Brooklyn will hang on without Irving for the time being. For the sake of their championship aspirations, let’s just hope that the next man up is ready for his opportunity.