Since Kyrie Irving decided to join Kevin Durant as a packaged deal to play for the Brooklyn Nets in the summer of 2019, Irving’s availability to play has been inconsistent.

The root of the problem stems from injury and his COVID-19 vaccination status as the world opened back up from lockdown. In his three campaigns for the Nets, Irving has averaged 27.1 points per game, 6.0 assists per game, and 4.7 rebounds per game, but he’s only played 103 out of a possible 246 games. 

After tense deliberation with Nets management this summer, Irving opted into the final year of his contract and is set to possibly play his last season in Brooklyn. Due to Irving’s mysterious nature and unpredictable availability, rumors have been building for quite some time that Irving is prepared to retire after this upcoming season.

However, Irving put those rumors to rest on Monday after ESPN’s Mark Friedell asked how much longer he’d like to play. 

“I’m never going to stop playing. You hear me? Get that — I am never going to stop playing. This is not even a debate. It’s not a consideration,” Irving said. 

Irving will be an unrestricted free agent after this season and is free to play wherever he wants, but it appears retirement is not an option, at least not for the foreseeable future. Irving and KD are looking to improve on a disappointing 2021-2022 season, and that’s where Irving’s focus will remain, not with his post-playing career.

The Brooklyn Nets season begins on October 19 at 7:30 PM against the New Orleans Pelicans.   

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