Giannis Antetokounmpo discussed Kyrie Irving’s vaccination status, following the Milwaukee Bucks’ 121-109 win over the Brooklyn Nets, Friday. The two-time NBA Most Valuable Player says that you can try to show someone why they should be vaccinated, but at the end of the day, “if he doesn’t want to do it, I can’t keep pressuring him.”
“When it comes to basketball, I feel like I can talk to them,” Antetokounmpo said of his teammates, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “When it comes to a personal decision like that, it’s … I’ve got to let them make their decision. They’re grown men. You know, and every situation is different. I cannot pressure somebody to do something that he doesn’t feel comfortable doing.”
He continued: “I can tell you why I did it. Why I felt comfortable doing it. To protect my family, to protect my mom and stuff, stay safe, and you just hope he understands that. But if he doesn’t want to do it, I can’t keep pressuring him. I’ve got to focus on myself and come every day and do my job, because that’s what I get paid to do. I don’t know what relationship they have, what kind of relationship they have. They probably have talked to him but they cannot keep on pressuring him to do something he doesn’t feel comfortable because it takes so much energy and takes energy away from basketball. That why we’re here.”
Irving’s vaccination status has been a hot topic throughout the year, as he missed the entire season until Wednesday due to the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols.