Kyrie Irving Available for Brooklyn Nets Home Games has been an open question Ahead of the upcoming 2021-22 season.
New York City’s vaccine mandate requires professional athletes playing in the public arena to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and the status of Irving’s vaccination is unclear. Now, for the first time, Nets coach Steve Nash is admitting that the team expects Irving to miss home games at Barclays Center because of the mandate.
“I think we believe he’s not playing a home game,” Nash told reporters on Sunday. “We will definitely have to play without him this year. So it just depends on when, where and how much.”
Nash’s remarks are the first time anyone with the team has acknowledged not only the possibility that Irving could miss home games but also what it expects from him. Irving has not disclosed whether he has been vaccinated, but he has not practiced with the Nets in New York and was enlisted. As ineligible for Friday’s home preseason game Against the Milwaukee Bucks.
However, the city on Friday Rules Eligible to practice at Irving Team’s Convenience Because it is considered private.
“There’s a lot of questions about what’s happening in Kyrie’s world and I think I’d prefer to keep it private and handle it properly with my team and move forward with a plan,” Irving Said two weeks ago on Nets Media Day, when he spoke to reporters via Zoom. “So obviously I won’t be able to be there today, but that doesn’t mean I’m putting any limits on my future joining the team.”
If he doesn’t meet New York’s vaccine requirements, Irving will miss 43 games — the Nets’ 41 home games at Barclays Center and their two road games against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association reportedly last week agreed to cut salaries of 1/91.6 of a player’s salary for each game missed due to local COVID-19 vaccine mandates. According to ESPN, if Irving misses every game in New York, he could lose about $380,000 per game this season and potentially more than $15 million.
Irving missing out on the full home schedule would be a major blow to the Nets team that enters the season as championship favourites. Brooklyn began the season with two road games—October 19 in Milwaukee and October 22 in Philadelphia—before a six-game homestand in which the Nets will be in New York for two weeks.
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