The Brooklyn Nets won’t allow All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to play during the 2021-’22 season until he meets New York City’s vaccination requirements.
Irving is currently ineligible to play at the Barclays Center, which requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter the indoor gym. While the NBA star would have been allowed to play in road games, the Nets have decided to prevent him from playing or practicing with the team entirely.
Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose. Currently, the choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability. It is imperative that we continue to build chemistry as a team and remain true to our long-established values of togetherness and sacrifice.”Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks on decision to not allow Kyrie Irving to play or practice, via ESPN
Irving, who was set to make $34.916 million in base salary this, will not be paid for every game he misses after the NBA implemented a rule for unvaccinated players before the upcoming season.
On Sunday, Nets’ head coach Steve Nash acknowledged the team was prepared to play without Irving at home. At the time, however, he was allowed to practice at the Nets’ team facility and could play on the road.
Marks and team governor Joe Tsai met with Kevin Durant and James Harden to discuss Irving’s status for the entire season. Ultimately, a collaborative decision was made that the seven-time All-Star selection would not be allowed to play or practice until he meets the vaccination requirements.
The Nets, who entered October as the favorite to win the NBA Finals, are now set to be without one of their best players for the entire season. Now, Kyrie Irving’s long-term future with the franchise is in serious doubt.