BOSTON (CBS) — The Brooklyn Nets once hoped that Kyrie Irving would get vaccinated. The Brooklyn Nets, however, are losing hope.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Twitter on Tuesday night that the Nets “remain unclear on All-Star guar Kyrie Irving’s ultimate intentions to get vaccinated.” Wojnarowski added that “there had been previous optimism Irving would get vaccinated and fulfill local mandates, but that hope is waning.”
There had been previous optimism Irving would get vaccinated and fulfill local mandates, but that hope is waning and Irving’s continued resistance to vaccination has Nets preparing for possibility they’ll be without him for home practices and games for foreseeable future. https://t.co/zysmp31bsl
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 6, 2021
This is rather significant, as the city of New York is requiring everyone in its NBA arenas to have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination. For Irving, that would mean that he would not be eligible to enter the arena for the Nets’ 41 home games in Brooklyn, or their two “road games” against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
“Irving’s continued resistance to vaccination has Nets preparing for possibility they’ll be without him for home practices and games for foreseeable future,” Wojnarowski tweeted.
Irving, of course, signed with the Nets after his two-year stint with the Celtics, despite telling Celtics fans he planned to stay in Boston long-term. He played in just 20 games in his first year with the Nets, who had also signed Kevin Durant. Those two were joined by James Harden last year, forming a superteam in the Eastern Conference. Or so it seemed.
After eliminating the Celtics in five games to open the playoffs, the Nets lost in Game 7 of the conference semifinals to the Milwaukee Bucks. Now, they’re at risk of losing Irving for more than half of their season, before that season even begins.
Irving was asked last week if he was vaccinated or would get vaccinated in order to comply with the city’s requirements.
“I appreciate your question, bro,” Irving told the reporter who asked the question. “Honestly, I like to keep that stuff private, man. … [I’ll] handle it the right way with my team and go forward together with a plan. So, you know, obviously I’m not able to be present there today. But that doesn’t mean that I’m putting any limits on the future of me being able to join the team.”
The NBA also clarified that players who miss games due to their vaccination status will not be paid for those games.
Irving was in attendance but didn’t play in the Nets’ preseason game in Los Angeles on Monday.