Story at a glance

  • Brooklyn Nets superstar Kyrie Irving spoke out for the first time since being benched by the organization for being unable to participate in team events full time.
  • "It's not about the money, baby. It's not always about the money," he said in an Instagram Live post on Wednesday.
  • “It’s about choosing what’s best for you,” Irving added.

Brooklyn Nets superstar Kyrie Irving spoke out for the first time since being benched by the organization for being unable to participate in team events full time, saying he’s choosing what’s best for him.

"It's not about the money, baby. It's not always about the money," he said in an Instagram Live post on Wednesday, according to NBC News

“It’s about choosing what’s best for you. You think I really 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?” Irving added. 

“Once again, I’m going to repeat this. This is not about the Nets, this is not about the organization, it’s not about the NBA, it’s not politics,” Irving continued. "It’s not any one thing. “It’s just about the freedom of what I want to do.”


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The Nets organization sidelined the point guard on Tuesday amid speculation that Irving could miss up to half the season given New York City’s vaccine mandate, which would exclude him from playing in home games at The Barclays Center. 

“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,” General Manager Sean Marks said in a statement on Tuesday. “Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose.”

“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,” Marks said. 

Approximately 56.6 percent of the total U.S. population has been fully vaccinated while 65.6 percent have received one dose. Slightly less than 5 percent have taken the federally approved booster. 


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Published on Oct 14, 2021