Kyrie Irving will not play for the Brooklyn Nets until he is vaccinated or the city's vaccine mandate is lifted.
"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," Nets general manager Sean Marks announced in a prepared statement on Tuesday morning. "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."
Irving is reportedly unvaccinated against COVID-19. New York City requires proof of at least one dose of a vaccine for entry to large indoor gatherings, a mandate that extends to Barclays Center and its employees.
Ask directly to confirm whether Irving is unvaccinated against COVID-19, Marks said in a press conference on Tuesday, “If he was vaccinated, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. I think that’s pretty clear."
Irving was the only player under guaranteed contract with the Nets who did not attend the team's media day activities in Brooklyn on Sept. 27. He joined a Zoom call with reporters but refused to answer questions about his availability, only saying in snippets, "Everything will be released at a due date once we get this cleared up," "but that doesn't mean I'm putting any limits on the future for me being able to join the team," and, "this is the last thing I wanted to create was more distractions and more hoopla and more drama."