“So what? It’s not about the money,” Irving said. “It's not always about the money. It’s about choosing what’s best for you. You think I really want to lose money?”
Irving said he supported people who were and weren't vaccinated and expressed appreciation for doctors. The All-Star guard didn't give any indication that he was against being vaccinated, just that he was deciding not to.
“Once again, I’m going to repeat this. This is not about the Nets, this is not about the organization, it’s not about the NBA, it’s not politics,” Irving said. "It’s not any one thing.
“It’s just about the freedom of what I want to do.”
Irving hasn't spoken to reporters since the Nets' media day on Sept. 27, when he appeared via Zoom and asked for privacy when questioned about his vaccination status.
The Nets are championship contenders and Irving said he didn't want to miss the opportunity he has with them. General manager Sean Marks said the team would gladly welcome Irving back under the right circumstances, and Irving made clear he was going to play again.
“No, I’m not retiring and no I’m not going and leaving this game like this,” Irving said. “There's still so much more work to do and there still so many other (youngsters) to inspire, because I know they want to be better than me.”
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