KEY POINTS

  • Mayweather backs Irving’s anti-vaccine stance, adding more woes to the NBA’s mandate
  • Mayweather lauds Irving for standing up for what he believes in
  • Durant and Harden are trying to fill in the void left by Irving on the court

Any chance of the NBA having all of its players vaccinated may have suffered a big blow with well-known athletes from different spots chiming in.

Kyrie Irving is in the middle of a big controversy regarding the COVID-19 vaccination stance, something that has kept him off the basketball court as of this writing.

While there have already been several people backing the one-time NBA champion, there is perhaps no one bigger than retired boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The undefeated boxing legend came out to express his support for the Nets’ guard, egging him to continue fighting for his beliefs.

Mayweather made a video on social media, giving his take on how choice is defined.

“Choice is defined as an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities. To my understanding, America gave us the choice to take the vaccine or not take the vaccine originally," part of Mayweather’s message in the video stated.

This comes not long after Irving was again the center of attention after protesters chanting “no vaccine mandate” and “let Kyrie play” charged the Barclays Center entrance before the Nets' game against the Charlotte Hornets.

This forced security to lock down the area with some of the protesters holding baseball bats. But no one was hurt in the protest.

Irving has been silent so far since September. Among his notable tweets include: “My mask is off. Now take off yours. No fear.”

With Irving out, head coach Steve Nash is trying to adjust his rotation. They are now 2-2 following a 104-90 win over the Washington Wizards.

Kevin Durant has been holding up the fort but has not been getting the proper support.

Noticeably absent is James Harden who has been struggling with the new NBA rules. In the first few games of the Nets this 2021-22 season, he has been only averaging 17.2 per game.

A reason pointed out behind that is the dip in free throw attempts. In the offseason, the league made a focus point the removal of offensive players drawing contact on non-basketball plays.

Known to be a master in drawing contact on unnatural movements offensively, the said rule change has considerably affected the former NBA MVP.

 Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Eastern Conference hugs Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Eastern Conference hugs Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. Photo: Getty Images | Elsa