The Brooklyn Nets finally made a decision about their unvaccinated All-Star guard Kyrie Irving. According to Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks, Irving will remain away from the Nets until he can fully participate in the team’s activities.
Under the current COVID-19 protocols in New York City, Irving is not able to play home games because of his vaccination status. He would be allowed to play away games in cities that don’t have a similar mandate, but the Nets decided not to go down the road of “part-time availability.”
“Again, my job here is to make what we deem as the best decision and best choices for the organization moving ahead as a whole,” said Marks during a virtual news conference on Tuesday. “They’re not always ones that are going to be met with open arms and a thumbs-up. These are hard decisions. Just like I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Kyrie either to have to make that [decision] to not be around his teammates.”
Marks also reiterated that the Nets would welcome Irving back to the team as soon as he is compliant with New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Until then, the 29-year-old star will lose money for each home game that he doesn’t play. This would be 43 games, including regular season and preseason.
Irving, on the other hand, isn’t against the vaccine, according to a recent report by The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Instead, he’s reportedly “upset that people are losing their jobs due to vaccine mandates.”