Kyrie Irving admitted he is extremely excited about finally getting a chance to play home games in Brooklyn. This week, New York City Mayor Eric Adams lifted vaccine mandate for pro athletes and Irving is now allowed to play home games in Brooklyn.
"Please take my comment seriously when I say I've been pinching myself since Wednesday and Thursday because there was a time where I got my hopes really, really high and all the air just got let out," Irving said, per ESPN.
"I didn't want to get too excited. Still tonight, I'm trying to stay focused on this game. But I know tomorrow will eventually come and I'm looking forward to playing back in Brooklyn."
Irving aims to lead the Nets to a championship
Having Irving as a part-time player was far from ideal for the Nets but now that has been solved and they can focus on making a run at championship.
"To be honest, I signed up for this for the long run," Irving said. "I love this year. I'm grateful. It has not been the prototypical year. But when I look at my teammates and I look at what we have as an organization.
I'm looking for the long run and what we can do, legacy talk." Irving will have some decisions to make in the offseason as he has a player option for next year, which he could decline. Irving could sign a massive deal with another team but suggested his main goal is to win together with Kevin Durant.
"For me, it has always been about being comfortable and loving where I'm at. I love it here," Irving said. "Once that summertime hits, I know we'll have some conversations but there's no way I could leave my man 7 anywhere.
"For me, our team sentiment is we want to build a legacy here and have something sustainable. Not just put this together real quick and then see what happens. But we're going to do our best." Irving appreciates Adams for lifting vaccine mandate for pro athletes but added he feels there is more to be done.
"Like I've been saying from the beginning of all this, it's never been about me," Irving said. "Any special privilege or exemption, I think there are a lot of people dealing with real consequences from being unvaccinated.
I don't think it's talked about enough in terms of our essential workers and people on the front lines. It's a whole community of us that really want to stand together."