Charles Barkley Rips Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving on Vax Stance
Last night the NBA debuted their 2021-22 season on TNT. There was a lot to be excited about, as the season tipped off with the defending NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks, led by their superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo taking on the powerful Brooklyn Nets, led by superstars Kevin Durant and James Harden. All seemed wonderful but something or someone was missing and Charles Barkley didn't miss a beat pointing it out.
Barkley, one of the network's biggest stars, took little time to call into question the NBA's biggest, most likely unvaccinated, superstar, Kyrie Irving. Jenna Lemoncelli of the New York Post quoted Barkely and his displeasure with Irving. "The only thing that bugs me is he’s still going to make $17 million sitting at home,” Barkley said in the article. “I really am proud of the Nets for putting their foot down — for saying ‘no, we’re not going to deal with this half on, half off [situation]," Barkley was quoted in the NY Post.
Barkley was not about to let his opening night opportunity pass by without getting his feelings on Irving and vaccinations in general out to the audience. "First of all, you don’t get the vaccine for yourself, you get it for other people. I got vaccinated, I can’t wait to get the booster..You don’t get vaccinated just for yourself. Like Adam [Silver] said, you get vaccinated for your family first, you get vaccinated for your teammates second. That’s what bothers me about this whole thing.”
Lemoncelli's article in the NY Post highlighted a great point. "Barkley also dismissed the public comparisons between Irving and Muhammad Ali. The late boxing legend put his fight career on hold to not fight in the Vietnam War, and instead protest racism at home. “People are saying he’s like Ali. First of all, don’t ever compare anyone to Ali. Ali went three years without boxing when he was the highest-paid athlete in the world,” Barkley said, reiterating that Kyrie “is going to make $17 million for sitting at home.”
It is interesting to see former stars calling out current stars in these situations. Usually everybody tries to play nice. This time the Brooklyn Nets, the fans and now former stars that played the game are spotlighting Kyrie Irving and outright calling his behavior selfishness. Maybe Charles Barkley now wants to be a roll model.