The NBA begins next week but in the previous weeks there is much more talk about the few anti-vaccine players than the 98 percent who have been vaccinated against Covid 19. The most renowned of them, Kyrie Irving. The Nets point guard has been positioning himself against the vaccine for months when the NBA regulations and protocol for teams, coaching staff and staff of the squads and offices, as well as for colleges and table judges and journalists require the complete guideline.
The fact is that in addition in New York, home of the Nets, a dose is required at least administered for indoor sports activities. Also for those who enter by air there are demands like this in California or Canada, home of the Raptors. So Irving has it tough. There is even talk that he could not play the home games of the Nets and if he did, where he would not be safe to play on some courts either. It remains to be seen if the franchise or its peers come to admit this unusual and troublesome situation.
He is a player who earns, remember, more than 30 million annually and has a contract signed until June 2023. It is hard to believe that the Nets can tolerate this controversy for much longer. Their coach, Steve Nash, has already admitted this week that they assume they will have to play a lot without Irving, who is also not doing preseason with them and trains separately.
In the Sixers we have another tricky case, Ben Simmons. The Australian player came down in July with a transfer request that has not been honored. After two disappointing seasons for the franchise, it was thought that the departure of the point guard and the change in structure in the roster configuration would be good for the Sixers. However, they have not actively sought an exchange. Simmons said he would no longer play with them and did not show up for preseason, a real boost to the franchise.
Now, after indicating to him that to be transferred he must first join the team and train, Simmons is willing to fly to Philadelphia, where some information even indicated that he had emptied the house where he resided.
The well-known problems in attack by the point guard, good near the rim and on the counterattack but with bad percentages from the arc, have meant that no important team has set his sights on him. We will see if with the season started and if he played well he is an attractive name for some aspiring to playoffs or to the ring, with the addition that the Sixers will also want to get something interesting for him, for the present and in the form of draft rounds for him. future.
The ‘Irving and Simmons cases’ are two good prototypes of the problems generated in the NBA by the enormous power and influence of some relevant players. In the past, Lebron James, James Harden or Anthony Davis forced their departure from their teams by refusing to play or train. This is how Harden came to the Nets themselves last December, after declaring in absentia with the Rockets.
In Europe things are somewhat different, although there have also been situations of this caliber. Mike James starred in two: first when Armani Milano wanted to get rid of his contract and demanded a high compensation for it and ended up at CSKA … where he collided with his coach and some teammates. He was removed from the team, loaned a few months to the Nets and was terminated last August. The right of first refusal in Spain has also led to difficult situations due to the refusal of some players to sign unwanted renewals, Larkin at Baskonia because he wanted to go to Barcelona, or when exercising rights over a player, Valencia Basket with Claver and De Colo for example.