Kyrie Irving Claimed He 'Gave Up' $100 Million Extension to Be Unvaccinated

Kyrie Irving Claimed He 'Gave Up' $100 Million Extension to Be Unvaccinated

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving claimed he "gave up" a more than $100 million extension prior to the 2021-22 season to remain unvaccinated against COVID-19.

"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 (September 26) via ESPN. "[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, who has publicly stated his skepticism about the COVID-19 vaccine, was forced to miss the majority of the Nets' home games last season due to a New York City vaccination mandate, which was changed in late March.

The guard said he felt he was facing "an ultimatum" from the Nets regarding his contract due to his vaccination status, which led to him eventually opting into the final year of his contract, a player option worth $36.5 million, after negotiations once again stalled this past summer.

"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."

Nets general manager Sean Marks denied the team gave Irving an "ultimatum" regarding a long-term extension.

"There's no ultimatum being given here," Marks said via ESPN. "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. 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 did, however, acknowledge that New York City's vaccination mandate, as well as Irving's firm anti-vaccination stance, stalled negotiations on a long-term deal.

"So two summers ago, that was pre-citywide, statewide mandates that went in," Marks said. "So once the vaccine mandates came in, and we knew how that would affect [Irving] playing home games and so forth, that's when contract talks stalled. So it didn't get to [a point], 'Here's the deal, now take it back.' That never happened."

Marks clarified that he's confident in Irving being fully committed to the organization.

"At the end of the day, we're happy that Kyrie is back here," Marks said via ESPN. "I'm listening to the press conference he had this morning and my takeaway from that is that he's committed. He understands that in order for him to be a free agent and get what he rightfully wants, he's going to have to show commitment out there. We're happy to support him in any possible way throughout the season to make sure that he's healthy and ready to go."

Irving said he understood the team's perspective and acknowledged his frustration that his vaccination status "came to be a stigma within my career."

"I understood all the Nets' points," Irving said. "And I respected it and I honored it, and I didn't appreciate how me being vaccinated, all of a sudden, came to be a stigma within my career that I don't want to play, or I'm willing to give up everything to be a voice for the voiceless. And which I will stand on here and say that, that wasn't the only intent that I had, was to be the voice of the voiceless, it was to stand on something that was going to be bigger than myself.

"And I was going to understand probably far into the future ... there was a level of uncertainty of what this was going to look like of me coming back. And I had questions, they were answered truthfully. And that's all I needed. And now it's just having the support around me and giving the support to my teammates."

Irving averaged 27.4 points, 5.8 assists, and 4.4 rebounds in 29 games during the 2021-22 season.

The Nets were eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2022 NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs

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Original author: Jason

Colin Cowherd: Cowboys and Packers Are Once Again Being Wildly Overrated

Colin Cowherd: Cowboys and Packers Are Once Again Being Wildly Overrated

Colin Cowherd: “If you are a Cowboys fan you should feel pretty good… But this is a 4-5 year trend. You roll a couple of dysfunctional in-division teams like the Giants and Washington and the fans buy in. We talk about this with Green Bay too. Dallas and Green Bay are these massive brands, they make us feel good about the NFL, they have a lot of fans that didn’t even grow up there so they make a lot of noise, and they’ve got a couple of wildly dysfunctional teams in their division – the Lions and the Bears – and every time they have a bad game they just happen to be playing one of those teams, often at Lambeau, and the networks put it on television and they ROLL. And the networks love the Cowboys and Giants, and oh that’s going to get a rating getting the New York market and the big star with the Cowboys and they roll them every time because the Giants are dysfunctional. This is the reality of what happens. Networks put the Packers and Cowboys on these standalone games with their dysfunctional in-division rivals and you forget about what they looked like 2-3 weeks ago. This is the seventh straight divisional win for the Cowboys. If you take out the Dak injured year, the Cowboys are 20-4 in their division since 2017, and they’re often on television. We feel like in the last ten years that the Cowboys and Packers always come up short. Everybody for Dallas is buying in this morning, I’m an outsider and I’m sorry that I can’t put you in the class of the Bills, Ravens, Rams, or Chiefs. You gotta feel good about winning on the road when you dropped a touchdown, you had a backup quarterback, it was a hostile environment, but boy does this feel like a rinse and repeat to me. Yes, the Cowboys rolled the Giants, and yes, the Packers rolled the Bears, but neither has a quarterback who will be playing in their city in three years, and for Daniel Jones next year. Pass rush: excellent, Micah Parsons: star, CeeDee Lamb has star potential, Trevon Diggs similarly, but I caution Packers fans after clobbering the Bears, and I caution Cowboys fans after rolling the New York Giants. We’ve been on this thing for like seven years – standalone Giants vs. Cowboys game, standalone Packers vs. Bears game… We know who wins, we know the reaction, at the end of the year we also know the result: DISSAPOINTMENT.” (Full Segment Above)

Watch Colin Cowherd tamp down the hype of the Cowboys’ somewhat surprising road victory on Monday Night Football vs. the Giants without Dak Prescott, as Colin says it’s another classic example of the Cowboys beating up on a dysfunctional divisional rival in a standalone nationally televised game that leads to inflated expectations.

Check out the segment above as Colin details why this always seems to happen to the Cowboys and the Packers every year, where their nationally televised wins over bad teams in their division (New York, Washington, Detroit, Chicago, Minnesota) fool us into thinking they’re good.

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Original author: Wil

Giants WR Sterling Shepard's Injury Status is Determined

Giants WR Sterling Shepard's Injury Status is Determined

New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard will miss the remainder of the 2022 NFL season due to a torn ACL, head coach Brian Daboll announced during a press conference on Tuesday via ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Shepard went down with a non-contact injury during the final minutes of Monday's 23-16 loss to the division-rival Dallas Cowboys and had initial tests after the game.

The Giants initially believed Shepard experienced a serious left knee injury prior to Tuesday's final diagnosis.

"It's tough. It's a tough sport," Daboll said after during his postgame press conference via ESPN. "Guys work their butts off to get back from injuries. This is something, if he's out for the whole season, which we'll probably know [Tuesday] morning ... you hurt for those guys because you watch them in the rehab room, you watch them in the offseason. It's just a shame."

Original author: Jason

Blazing Five: Colin Cowherd Gives His 5 Best NFL Bets For Week 3 (Sep. 25)

Blazing Five: Colin Cowherd Gives His 5 Best NFL Bets For Week 3 (Sep. 25)

(VIDEO SEGMENT ABOVE)

Week 2 Blazin' 5 record: 4-1

Blazin' 5 season record: 7-3

Eagles at Commanders (SPREAD: PHI -6.5)

“I like Philly but I'm not giving the Commanders 6.5 at home in a division rivalry. I’m taking Washington here. Carson Wentz revenge game? He’s played great, back-to-back 300+ passing yard games, he’s got nice wideouts, I like Washington. This season Carson Wentz has been excellent.”

Colin's prediction: Commanders 27, Eagles 26.

Colin's pick: Washington +6.5

Jaguars at Chargers (SPREAD: LAC -7)

“How about another upset? I’m going to take the Jaguars +7. Their defense is top 10 in scoring, top 10 in total defense, and takeaways, and they’ll put pressure on whoever is the quarterback of the Chargers. Trevor Lawrence has finally found the right coach in year 2, he’s playing great football and getting rid of it quicker. Justin Herbert has fractured cartilage in 3-4 of his ribs, day-to-day, and he may not play.”

Colin's prediction: Jaguars 27, Chargers 23.

Colin's pick: Jacksonville +7

Falcons at Seahawks (SPREAD: SEA -1)

 “One of my favorite bets of the weekends. Like it? I love it, Falcons +1. The Falcons have two losses by a total of 5 points. Marcus Mariota has always been good, he just can’t stay healthy. He’s been excellent so far. Mariota is 1 of 3 quarterbacks with 400+ passing yards and 75+ rushing yards this year; Lamar and Jalen Hurts are the others.”

Colin's prediction: Falcons 27, Seahawks 23.

Colin's pick: Atlanta +1

Packers at Buccaneers (SPREAD: TB -1.5)

 “I’m going to take the Bucs in their home debut. Their defense forced 5 turnovers in the second half vs. the Saints, and their defense is absolutely healthy and on-fire, and Todd Bowles is a great defensive coach.”

Colin's prediction: Bucs 28, Packers 21

Colin's pick: Tampa Bay -1.5

49ers at Broncos (SPREAD: SF -1.5)

 “Jimmy G came in for Trey Lance last week and he looked good, passer rating over 100 with 2 TDs and no picks. I know you don’t like him but he distributes the ball to their playmakers. On Sunday Night Football he’s played 6 times, won 4 of them, and his passer is 105.”

Colin's prediction: 49ers 24, Broncos 21

Colin's pick: San Francisco -1.5

All spreads are provided by Fox Bet. Spreads are posted when Blazin' 5 airs Friday at 2 pm ET and subject to change.

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Jason Whitlock: Dawn Staley Used 'Black Privilege' To Try and Cancel BYU

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The Patriots Are Going Big Game Hunting

Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots

Photo: Getty Images North America

Jason Smith: “The Patriots are gonna go big game hunting, and they are gonna get a huge quarterback next year in the offseason. It could be Lamar Jackson, it could wind up being Kyler Murray if this year doesn’t go well…this is how it happens now in the NFL. Guys you think are gonna be quarterbacks for a team for years, the next offseason they wind up getting traded.”

On today’s edition of The Jason Smith Show, Jason took to the airwaves to explain why Bill Belichick’s recent comments about Lamar Jackson’s contract status shows that the Patriots head coach is looking to go big game hunting for a new signal caller next year, be it Lamar, Kyler Murray...maybe even Dak Prescott?

Original author: Beau

Sean Payton Could Coach for These Teams Next Season

Sean Payton Could Coach for These Teams Next Season

1 of 1

Photo: Todd Kirkland

Chris Broussard: "I think Sean Payton would be great in Denver. Nathaniel ‘can’t’ Hackett better turn it around and turn it around fast. The Walmart Family owns them so we know money isn’t a problem, they have a quarterback in Russell Wilson who Sean Payton will be great with and talent else were. Look, if Hackett does another egregious thing like he has done the past few games, you’re fired without question. I can see him in Arizona possibly, Dallas loves Sean Payton but they also love Dan Quinn, but Denver is the ideal place for him to be."

Chris Broussard and Rob Parker give the three spots where Sean Payton could land next year.

Original author: Tab

Leave Race Out Of Ime Udoka’s Suspension

Leave Race Out Of Ime Udoka’s Suspension

Photo: Michael Reaves

Some in the media are pointing out that Boston Celtics HC Ime Udoka is being treated differently for his transgressions than he would be if he were white. Racism claims are being brought up yet again and Doug just isn’t seeing it. In fact, he takes the media to task for crying wolf and yet again applying the race card where it doesn’t belong. From the Celtics response all the way to the general media coverage, this whole incident has been handled above board and out in the open, so any mention of racism is just embarrassing.

Doug Gottlieb: “The Celtics get all their ducks in a row, Ime (Udoka) decides to take a year-long suspension and they have a press conference today. Like, I don’t really understand any of the hullabaloo. But people who want to equate it to race or to ‘why are we covering this?’ We in the media have to be better, have to know better...equating everything to being about race is embarrassing.”

Original author: Michael

Mitchell Trubisky Looks Good...Until You Need Him to BE Good

Mitchell Trubisky Looks Good...Until You Need Him to BE Good

Photo: Nick Cammett

The Pittsburgh Steelers dropped to 1-2 on the season after losing to the Cleveland Browns last night and QB Mitchell Trubisky didn’t look very good. While the loss of TJ Watt to injury is a major factor in the Steelers struggles, Trubisky proved once again he can’t be relied on when he is really needed. He has the skills, but those skills seem to desert him when it actually matters.

Dan Patrick: “Mitchell Trubisky looks like a good quarterback until you need him to be a good quarterback, if that makes sense. At the end of the first half, you’re like, just get in field goal range; add three points. And then...incompletion, incompletion, incompletion. And it’s not just him. You know, without TJ Watt it’s a different team.”

Original author: Michael

Brian Daboll is Winning Over the Entire League

Brian Daboll is Winning Over the Entire League

New York Giants v New England Patriots

Photo: Getty Images

On Friday's 2 Pros and a Cup of Joe, Giants Wide Receiver Kenny Golladay vents his frustration about lack of playing time, but it's Head Coach Brian Daboll's response to the veteran WR that displays why he's quickly becoming the most popular coach in the league today.

Brady Quinn: "He's one of the most personable people I've ever met. I remember we called a game one time for FOX in Buffalo and he was the OC and we walked out of our meeting and our producer and director were like, 'No coach has ever asked anything about me ever in a meeting before.' He had asked them where they were from because he caught something in their accent and he went into this whole conversation just generally trying to get to know them. They came away so impressed and he was so awesome in that instance, he had won over that room. Every room, if you've been around Dabs or Brian Daboll, he will win you over because he's like that as a person."

Original author: Lee

Aaron Rodgers is Closer to Common Man Mentality

Aaron Rodgers is Closer to Common Man Mentality

Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers

Photo: Getty Images

Friday on 2 Pros and a Cup of Joe, Aaron Rodgers speaks about interests outside of football and his intention to stop playing before age 45. Jonas Knox, Brady Quinn and LaVar Arrington think his mindset is closer to the "common man" than it is the "football player," and they share stories of how mortality sets in while the football mentality fades away.

Jonas Knox: "If Green Bay wins a Super Bowl this year, does Rogers come back next year? I think he's gone, I don't think he sees the end of this contract. Not only is he not around at 45, I don't think he's around for another couple of years, especially if they win."

LaVar Arrington: "He's so comfortable with where he is in life, you got to believe that the end is near because once you become a real person, a human being of sorts, the end is near. When you're playing, you're like a warrior, an animal, Neanderthal, a dirtbag. Whatever you want to call it, when you play the game you're just a different person. It's melting away on Aaron Rodgers quickly."

Brady Quinn: "You have to be in a certain state of mind in order to play the game of football, especially at the highest levels... Obviously when you see the games and you see the plays and stuff, that's the fun part. Of course everyone misses that. What you don't miss is waking up the next morning and feeling like you just got hit by a car... Wanting that and feeling that sense of accomplishment like, 'Yeah I got my ass kicked, but man we won.' To think that way, it's messed up."

Original author: Lee
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