What we know: Brooklyn's Kyrie Irving explains vaccination status in Instagram Live post

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Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving was a catalyst in bringing fellow All-NBA superstars and former MVPs Kevin Durant and James Harden to Brooklyn to become the latest superteam to chase championships.

But the Nets Big 3 played only eight games together last season, mostly due to injuries. Irving's refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine is keeping them from playing together these days.

Brooklyn's season starts Tuesday against the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks, the very team that sent them packing after a seven-game defeat in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Kyrie Irving could reportedly forfeit over $15 million in salary if he misses all of the Nets' games in New York.
Kyrie Irving could reportedly forfeit over $15 million in salary if he misses all of the Nets' games in New York.

Here is what we know so far:

On Wednesday, Irving broke his silence on Instagram Live confirming that he is unvaccinated against Covid-19, saying that “nobody should be forced to do anything with their bodies.” He maintains he still hopes to play this season, but the Nets said he won't be allowed to practice or play in games until he either gets vaccinated or New York City drops its vaccine mandate. He stands to forfeit nearly $400,000 in salary for each game he misses.

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Nets general manager Sean Marks said he had "no choice" but to keep Irving away from the team until his vaccination status is resolved. Marks also said the team refuses to have Irving play under "part-time availability."

New York City's COVID-19 vaccine mandate requires players to be vaccinated in order to play at Madison Square Garden or Barclays Center, the Nets home arena.

Irving doesn't seem concerned with his salary, which is on the Nets' books for $35 million for the 2021-22 season. "This is my life," Irving said. "I get to do whatever I want with this, this is one body that I get here. And you are telling me what to do with my body."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Brooklyn's Kyrie Irving on his vaccination status: 'This is my life'