James Harden has addressed Kyrie Irving in refusing to be vaccinated despite New York warrants requiring athletes to receive the vaccine before playing in the city.
Harden’s comments followed a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania that the Nets would also not allow Irving to play in road games or offer him a contract extension.
“Kyrie believes in his beliefs and he stands firm,” Harden told reporters Wednesday. “We respect him, we all love Ky. But we have a job to do, and individually myself, I always want to prepare for a championship. The whole organization is on the same path.
When asked if he had spoken to Irving while the star point guard was away, Harden replied, “I haven’t spoken to him.”
James Harden has not spoken with Kyrie Irving since the decision was made for him to step away from the Nets. pic.twitter.com/hoq2YVVAKc
– Nets videos (@SNYNets) October 13, 2021
His blunt comment – a clear indication that he is tired of talking about his controversial teammate – was followed by an embarrassed silence and the conclusion of the press conference.
Nets coach Steve Nash also spoke about the organization’s decision not to allow Irving to play for the team part-time.
“It was a tough decision,” Nash said. “But I think it was a good one and one that made perfect sense to everyone. We’re just going to have to move on. And, if things change, it will be amazing to find him back in the fold. “