Kevin Durant stated that he wishes that "none" of this would happen, but that he doesn't mind that Kyrie Irving isn’t with the Brooklyn Nets.
Durant stated that he has not spoken with Irving since Tuesday's Nets decision to ban their starting point guard from playing with the team and that Irving must comply with New York City’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements. Durant is optimistic that things will work out eventually.
Durant said to reporters that he wanted Kyrie to be there after the Nets' preseason win over the Timberwolves, 107-101. I wish this would never happen, but it is what we have. Kyrie decided what he wanted and the team followed his lead.
"It is up to me to focus on myself and do my job and let the other parties deal with that situation. Although I want the whole team to work together and for us all to be strong, sometimes things don't always go our way. However, I remain positive that both sides will benefit.
On Wednesday night, Irving posted on Instagram that he hopes to still play this season for Nets but that he will not be getting at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot, as New York City requires, to play at home games at Barclays Center or Madison Square Garden.
Irving stated that he is not pro-vaccine nor anti-vaccine, and that he values both sides. Irving reiterated his support for the Nets organization and did not make a political statement.
Durant, who joined Irving to bring Durant to Brooklyn in 2019 in free agency, said that he's not upset about Irving's inability to play as the Nets enter their season with high expectations.
Durant stated that "We still get [to do] what we love every day." "... "... Some of this is beyond our control. We can only do our best to stay focused on our jobs each day. What good is being mad? We won't change his mind. We will let him decide what he needs and the team determine what they need."
Durant told reporters later that he couldn't be mad at someone making their own decision.
"Who am I that would get so upset about this? He said, "Just focus on what's in the locker room." "When [Irving] feels ready, I'm sure he'll talk to Joe [Tsai], [general manager] Sean Marks and they'll figure out the details and tell us. We will continue to grind until then."