Kyrie Irving says he gave up over $100 million extension to be unvaccinated

2022-09-27 05:14

Kyrie Irving says he did not get a contract extension worth over $100 million with the Nets due to his unvaccinated status.

Credit: AP-Scanpix
Credit AP-Scanpix

The Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving says he turned down a four-year over $100 million extension because of his decision not to get the COVID-19 vaccination.

Due to his unvaccinated status, the Nets guard was unable to play in some games during the 2021-22 NBA season.

"I gave up four years, 100-and-something million deciding to be unvaccinated and that was the decision," Irving said during Nets media day on Monday.

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie  Irving
Position: PG, SG
Age: 30
Height: 191 cm
Weight: 87 kg
Birth place: Melbourne, Australia

"[Get this] contract, get vaccinated or be unvaccinated and there's a level of uncertainty of your future, whether you're going to be in this league, whether you're going to be on this team, so I had to deal with that real-life circumstance of losing my job for this decision," Irving explained.

Irving revealed he was expecting that he would have the contract terms set prior to last season but his unvaccinated status prevented that.

"We were supposed to have all that figured out before training camp last year," Irving said.

"And it just didn't happen because of the status of me being vaccinated, unvaccinated. So, I understood their point and I just had to live with it. It was a tough pill to swallow, honestly," Irving revealed.

Nets general manager Sean Marks, however, said there was no ultimatum regarding Irving's contract.

"There's no ultimatum being given here," Marks said.

"Again, it goes back to you want people who are reliable, people who are here, and accountable. All of us: staff, players, coaches, you name it. It's not giving somebody an ultimatum to get a vaccine," Marks added.

"That's a completely personal choice. I stand by Kyrie. I think if he wants, he's made that choice. That's his prerogative completely," Marks explained his position.

Despite Irving not being able to get the extension he expected, he picked up the player option of his contract with the Nets this summer and will earn $36.5 million during the upcoming season.

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