In a season where the Brooklyn Nets' focus should be primarily fixated on winning an NBA championship, Kyrie Irving continues to keep the Nets in the headlines, for all the wrong reasons.

There has been much concern and speculation amongst the basketball community regarding how Brooklyn should handle their star guard's current COVID-19 vaccination status, as he faces potential missed games and fines of around 400 thousand dollars by electing not to receive the vaccine. Irving hasn't been able to consistently show Brooklyn fans that he can be relied upon, and with new, specific vaccine mandates in New York and California, now Nets fans must brace themselves of the possibility that Kyrie could miss more than half of the upcoming season to COVID protocols.

After Lakers' great Shaquille O'Neal had choice words on Brooklyn's situation with Irving last week, TMZ Sports caught up with Knicks' great Charles Oakley recently, to get his take on how he'd handle the Nets' situation, were he involved.

When asked if he would have a conversation with Kyrie if he were a member of the Nets, Oakley replied, "Yes. I definitely would have a conversation with Kyrie... Kyrie is an individual, he believes in what he believes in. But I would have to talk to him. Management would have to talk to him. But at the end of the day, he's a grown man."

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He continued, "He knows he's losing $300-$400 thousand a game, it's not about the money, we see that. It's something inside of him, he wants to prove that there is other things going on in this world that we need to take control of. So, that's his decision."

When asked if it's possible, while missing practices and home games, to still mesh with a team and play successfully, Oakley answered, "I think they still can win it, with him playing this way. You still have James Harden and [Kevin Durant], two of the top five best players in the league. So, add him [to a] role or whatever he'd play, it'd be a plus, but they weren't healthy last year. So you think, if James Harden comes back healthy this year, if KD is healthy, they still could win it, even if Kyrie only played half of the season."

The season is set to tip-off on October 19th, when Brooklyn travels to Wisconsin to take on the reigning champion, Milwaukee Bucks. 

[via]