Videos by OutKick
Kyrie Irving’s vaccination saga with the Brooklyn Nets finally took a step in the right direction.
Announced Friday, per sources in talks with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets are deciding to bring Kyrie back to the team exclusively for road games after an onslaught of injuries and sit-outs from the NBA’s health and safety protocols are leaving the team short on active players.
Included in the COVID watchlist are seven Nets players: James Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre’ Bembry, Jevon Carter, Paul Millsap, James Johnson and Bruce Brown. Harden and Brown landed in protocols on Tuesday hours ahead of their matchup against the Toronto Raptors and missed the contest. Both Harden and Brown are expected to be sidelined for a 10-day period, per the NBA’s ruling on COVID-positive players. (These players are all fully vaccinated.)
Despite failing to comply with New York City’s mandatory vaccine ruling, which put Irving at risk of missing all home games in the 2021-22 season, the general sentiment in the preseason was that Irving would still be allowed to participate in road games not subject to mandatory vaccination guidelines — which include Los Angeles and Golden State as ineligible visits.
As relayed by OutKick’s Meg Turner, team governor Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks decided to take a firm stance against the uneven schedule given to Irving and banned him from partaking in any team-related activities until he got the vaccine.
Sticking to his word, Irving remained unvaccinated and has been out for 29 of the Nets’ contests this season.
The team has yet to announce a firm return date for Irving but the All-Star guard will be allowed to practice at Barclays Center in the coming days.
Stay tuned with OutKick as we update the progress on Kyrie’s return.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela