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Fellow anti-vax point guard John Stockton throws his support behind Kyrie Irving

John Stockton watches his daughter, Laura, play basketball for Gonzaga on March 2, 2019 at the McCarthey Athletic Center.  (TYLER TJOMSLAND/The Spokesman-Review)
By Stefan Bondy New York Daily News

John Stockton is now dishing assists to Kyrie Irving and anti-vaxxers.

While taking aim at “serial felon” vaccine manufacturers and “segregation” mandates, Stockton applauded Irving’s stance against the jab and pled with the Nets point guard to “hang in there.”

The comments were part of the Hall of Famer’s interview with the DNP-CD Sports Podcast, which will be released Monday through Hot Pie Media.

“You have a lot of supporters, Kyrie,” Stockton told fellow vaccine skeptic podcast hosts Chad Fisher and Tony Farmer. “Not all them of can get to you, and you can’t get to all of them, but there’s every bit a majority out there that’s sitting there pulling for you. They’re just not quite as bold as he is. I’m proud of him as an individual to take that kind of individual risk and be that bold for what you feel is right.”

Stockton, 59, the NBA’s all-time assists and steals leader, had previously appeared in a vaccine conspiracy documentary while citing his “significant research” into COVID-19. On the podcast, Stockton said doctors are unknowingly peddling a dangerous vaccine because of fraudulent research pushed by pharmaceutical companies.

“It’s amazing the protection they have, and even with that, they are serial felons,” Stockton said of the vaccine manufacturers. “Almost each one across the board, they’ve been convicted and paid astronomical sums for the frauds they’ve committed and yet it doesn’t seem like it’s known.”

It’s unclear what felonies Stockton is referencing, but Pfizer, the manufacturer of an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, agreed to pay $2.3 billion in a civil case over 12 years ago for misbranding medicines and giving kickbacks to doctors.

The COVID-19 vaccine, including Pfizer’s, was proven safe and effective through extensive clinical trials. Long-term side effects are “extremely unlikely,” according to the CDC.

But Stockton claimed he’s certain the vaccines are harmful.

“I can see it on the internet,” he said. “And I know people. So indisputable.”

Irving, 29, who is the only player on either the Knicks or Nets that didn’t receive at least one vaccine shot, is unable to play in home games because of New York City’s mandate. Rather than allowing Irving to be a part-time player this season, the Nets told the All-Star to stay away from the team until he’s vaccinated. Irving is forfeiting roughly half his $35.1 million salary this season.

“I have such great respect for Kyrie Irving for stepping up like that,” Stockton said. “He’s right in the mix of it, he has a tremendous amount to lose in endorsements. So I salute him.”

Stockton said he would’ve “trusted the doctors” and taken the vaccine early in his playing career, but would’ve resisted once he became more established and educated.

“There’s not a chance I would risk any of that to play,” Stockton said. “My hope would be other guys would join in. And all of us lock arms. And none of us play.”

Irving reportedly doesn’t trust the vaccine and is concerned about long-term side effects, according to Bally Sports, which cited the point guard’s injury history as reason for apprehension. It’s unclear how basketball injuries and the COVID-19 vaccine could be related.

Irving hasn’t explained his reasoning for denying a COVID-19 vaccine other than calling it his choice.

“This is my life,” Irving said in his last public comments two months ago. “I get to do whatever I want with this. This is one body that I get here. And you are telling me what to do with my body. This has everything to do with what is going on in our world. And I am being grouped into something that is bigger than just the game of basketball.”

The NBA claims a 97% vaccination rate among players and is recommending booster shots.