Thursday, August 18, 2022

NBA’s Kyrie Irving Could Earn Up to $19M Without Playing Amid Vaccine Controversy

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*We previously reported that Kyrie Irving will not play with the Brooklyn Nets because a New York mandate requires athletes on the city’s pro teams to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and he refuses to get one.  

Irving, a seven-time NBA All-Star, is not eligible to play in NBA games in New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles due to local coronavirus protocol. He stands to lose about $380,000 per game and more than $15 million if he continues to refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The NBA star still stands to bag close to $20 million without playing a single game, according to reports. 

CNN writes that the Nets, “will be required to pay Irving for about 40 away games should he remain on the team since it was their decision to keep him off the court.”

Here’s more from the outlet: 

The seven-time All-Star is in his third year of a four-year, $136 million contract signed with the Nets in 2019. He was expected to earn more than $34 million this season, according to Spotrac.com. The NBA and NBA Players Association reportedly agreed on a pay reduction of 1/91.6 of a player’s salary for each game missed by an unvaccinated player due to the local vaccine mandates, ESPN reported. Irving stands to lose about $380,000 per game and potentially more than $15 million, ESPN reported. That would still leave Irving about $19 million — and secure his standing among the 100 highest-paid players in the league — without playing a single minute.

READ MORE: Kyrie Irving Goes on IG Live to Address Vaccine Refusal, Being Unable to Play, More (Watch)

Irving has defended his vaccine stance on Instagram. As reported by ESPN, he said: “I chose to be unvaccinated, and that was my choice, and I would ask you all to just respect that choice. … You really think I want to lose money? You think I really want to give up on my dream to go after a championship? You think I really just want to give up my job? Think I really just want to sit at home and not go after the things with my teammates that I have been able to grow with, to learn with, to learn that it takes sacrifice in this space. … You think I want to give up my livelihood because of a mandate, because I don’t have accommodations, because I am unvaccinated? Come on.”

Nets general manager Sean Marks announced that Irving “will not play or practice with the team.”

“Given the evolving nature of the situation and after thorough deliberation, we have decided Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant. Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose,” Marks stated.

“Currently, the choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability,” he added. “It is imperative that we continue to build chemistry as a team and remain true to our long-established values of togetherness and sacrifice. Our championship goals for the season have not changed, and to achieve these goals each member of our organization must pull in the same direction. We are excited for the start of the season and look forward to a successful campaign that will make the borough of Brooklyn proud.”

According to reports, Irving is giving up about half of his $35 million salary by missing home games.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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