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The Brooklyn Nets start the 2021-22 season on October 19, facing off against the Philadelphia 76ers. One of the core three of the roster is scoring guard Kyrie Irving, whose status as an unvaccinated person has has escalated into his role as a professional basketball player. Several effects of not being vaccinated in the NBA include being deemed inactive for games, even the postseason, and losing millions in salary.
Nets head coach Steve Nash confirmed that Irving’s infringement of New York City’s vaccine mandate, which prohibits gathering in a sports venue without proof of vaccination, will indeed keep Irving sidelined for home games in the upcoming season, with Barclays Center specified as a venue that won’t host any unvaccinated peoples.
“I think right now we assume he’s not going to be available for home games, but anything can change,” said Nash, in an ESPN report.. “Who’s to say? The city ordinances could change. Anything could change. Right now we are just trying to remain flexible, open-minded and figure it out as we go because information is coming in by like the half-day here. … We found out Friday he can come back in the building. Things are shifting. No one’s been through this before, and we are just trying to figure it out as we go.”
Kyrie Irving, Jonathan Isaac and the rest of the NBA that is choosing to not get vaccinated have been the focus of the media on behalf of dire consequences posed by the vaccine mandates.
In Irving’s case, the repercussions will be heavily economic and in a person way with teammates — which ought to raise more well-rounded critique of the principles at play. Irving, aside from missing home and away games in New York, will be absent from any game held in a city that will require mandatory vaccination for their venues; which currently includes San Francisco.
Irving’s position has held firm in the midst of scrutiny, but the repercussions of Kyrie’s desire to remain unvaccinated may begin to seep into the locker room as his crucial role gets omitted for a minimum of 41 games this season.
The tripartite of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Irving is the most combination of players on an NBA roster, and with minimal time spent playing together last season, the championship expectations for this team continues to fall short of a true benchmark.
Durant has already spoken out on the team’s hoping for Irving to be available for every game possible. Irving and the team will reunite in New York for practices at Barclays, which are permitted despite the homes games’ standard. “At least he can practice,” shared Durant, according to CBS-NBA. “But, I mean, we want him here for the whole thing. We want him here for games, home games, practices, away games, shootarounds, all of it, so hopefully we figure this thing out.”
Irving missed 28 games in 2020-21 due to a right shoulder injury. In his games played last season, Irving averaged 26.9 points per game, 6.0 assists and shot 40.2 percent from 3-point territory.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela