The COVID-19 pandemic has affected several NBA franchises. The emergence of the fast-spreading Omicron variant has complicated things even further. The league has scrambled to keep the season going as player after player enters NBA health and safety protocols brought on by the virus.

The Brooklyn Nets have been experiencing issues since before Omicron existed. Kyrie Irving’s refusal to get vaccinated against COVID led to him being banned from suiting up in New York. The team recently announced they would allow him to participate in road games as more players were forced to sit out.

Shaquille O’Neal doesn’t think that was a good idea. The Nets are having a ton of success without Kyrie in the lineup and are in first place in their division. On his latest podcast, Shaq criticized the organization for allowing Irving to play.

“The Brooklyn Nets organization, ‘Oh if you won’t be all in, blah blah blah blah blah, don’t even come around. Now, since the COVID come up and a couple of guys are out, oh, we’ll let you play Mr. Kyrie. You can do this Kyrie, you can do that Kyrie.’

I don’t respect that. They panicked for no reason. They sound like they are No. 7 in the league. You in first place, dummies. You don’t need him.”

It remains to be seen if Kyrie Irving being added for some games helps or hurts the team chemistry. Brooklyn is heading to L.A. to take on LeBron James and the struggling Lakers for a Christmas Night game. Shaq thinks including Kyrie is the biggest mistake the franchise could make.

Do you think Kyrie Irving should be allowed to play if he’s not vaccinated? Let us know in the comments!

Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a new contributor for Ringside News and Thirsty for News. Michael has an M.A. in Communication Technology from Point Park University in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

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