Story at a glance

  • NBA superstar Kyrie Irving will not play for the Brooklyn Nets until he can fully participate at full capacity.
  • Current New York City guidelines, which require proof of at least one COVID-19 shot to enter the Barclays Center — the Nets home — and other arenas, would prohibit Irving from playing in home games.
  • “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,” General Manager Sean Marks said in a statement.

NBA superstar Kyrie Irving will not play for the Brooklyn Nets until he can fully participate at full capacity, the organization announced Tuesday. 

Current New York City guidelines, which require proof of at least one COVID-19 shot to enter the Barclays Center — the Nets home — and other arenas, would prohibit Irving from playing in home games. 

“Given the evolving nature of the situation and after thorough deliberation, we have decided Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant,” General Manager Sean Marks said in a statement. “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,” Marks continued. 

“It is imperative that we continue to build chemistry as a team and remain true to our long-established values of togetherness and sacrifice,” Marks continued.. “Our championship goals for the season have not changed, and to achieve these goals each member of our organization must pull in the same direction.”

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Irving’s vaccination status raised concerns that he might miss up to half of the season, which head coach Steve Nash addressed on Sunday. 

"I think we recognize he's not playing home games," Nets coach Steve Nash said on Sunday. "We're going to have to, for sure, play without him this year, so it just depends on when, where, and how much."

Irving, who has asked members of the media to respect his privacy on the matter of vaccines, was previously able to practice with the team at the HSS Training Center, which is a private business. 

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski noted prior to the Nets decision that the 10-year veteran from Duke University could lose up to $380,000 per home game. 

The Associated Press reported that the league-wide vaccination rate as of Sept. 30 sat around 95 percent — although the NBA does not have a vaccine mandate in place. 


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Published on Oct 12, 2021