Kyrie Irving’s COVID-19 vaccination status is already impacting his availability for the Nets.
Irving was not present for the team’s media day to open the 2021-22 season due to New York City’s health and safety protocols, according to reports. He was set to be made available via Zoom, but he was prohibited from attending in person because he is reportedly not vaccinated.
Fellow Nets superstar Kevin Durant was asked whether or not he was “concerned” about Irving’s availability at home games, and shrugged off the suggestion.
“I expect it not to be [an issue],” Durant said. “That’s on Kyrie. That’s his personal decision. What he does is not on us to speculate. I expect us to have our whole team at some point.”
The NBA is not mandating all players to be vaccinated to play this season, but local mandates in New York – as well as San Francisco – requiring vaccines for players to practice and play in those markets. Andrew Wiggins was recently denied a religious exemption to the vaccine, putting his status for the Warriors in doubt.
Irving is expected to join the team for training camp in San Diego, according to reports. The Nets don’t have a home regular-season game until Oct. 24, when they face off against the Hornets, so Irving theoretically has time to become eligible to play in Brooklyn.
Irving is also looking for a contract extension, and this could throw another wrench into negotiations.
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