Photo: Associated Press

Kyrie Irving played his first home game this season after a vaccine mandate for professional athletes has been lifted in New York City. The 30-year-old point guard had 16 points and 11 assists in 41 minutes of play as the Nets lost against the Hornets (110-119).

Afterwards Irving spoke about his stance on vaccine mandates and refusal to get the jab. “The point of this season for me was never to just take a stand,” he said, per Dave Early of ClutchPoints. “It was really to make sure that I’m standing on what I believe in and freedom ….about the freedom to make choices with your life without someone telling you what the f*ck to do.

“I’m standing for freedom. That’s in all facets of my life, and there’s nobody that’s enslaving me, nobody telling me what I’m gonna do with my life and that’s just the way I am.”