The Brooklynites are hoping to finally see Kyrie Irving play at the Barclays Center. But the most high-profile Nets fan of all promises, if and when that happens, it will be based on safety, not on sports.
Irving has been unable to play in New York City due to his refusal to comply with the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. After Mayor Eric Adams announced Wednesday that he has concrete plans to loosen these mandateshe was asked on a recent TV appearance if it could happen in time for Irving start playing about the Nets’ playoffs.
“It’s something people ask about,” Adams said Friday morning on PIX11. “Listen, you’re bringing a championship game here, you’re bringing millions of dollars into revenue, but we can not base our decisions on sports.
“The real game we’re fighting for is a game about safety and health, and we want to make the right decision for New Yorkers. I want that championship ringbut not at the expense of making sure we shut our city down again – and if it’s queuing, it’s queuing, if it’s not, we have to make the right decision for New Yorkers. ”
When the city registered 1,106 cases on Wednesday, according to data from the state Department of Health – a 98 percent drop from Omicron’s high – Adams praised the repeal of the outdoor mask rule and spoke out that the protocols should loosen up.
“Eventually, we will move to the place of easing many of these mandates so that we can return to a level of normality that we are looking for,” Adams said on PIX11.
Irving has only played 14 matches so far, all away. At this point, he is excluded from playing at Barclays Center, Garden and Toronto, and he has not shown any inclination to be grafted with the currently available vaccines.
Now it seems more and more likely that he will not have to.
“It’s great, of course. It would be great for us to have Kyrie available for all our games. That said, who knows? It’s not really in our control, so we’re leaving it to the mayor and waiting patiently,” Brooklyn said. coach Steve Nash recently.
“I think he is working towards that to be able to play in every game, so if the mandate is lifted, the expectation would be that he could play in all our matches. I think that’s what he’s been waiting for, what he’s excited about, and if the opportunity arises, the plan and goal is for him to play every night. ”
Irving averages 24.2 points, 5.4 assists and 4.8 rebounds. And despite the Nets only having 4-10 with him in a row, it will be key to get Irving on the field on Saturday with defending champion Milwaukee.
The All-Star point guard can finally begin build some chemistry with newcomers Seth Curry and Andre Drummond, who arrived on the trade deadline and have not yet had a chance to play alongside Irving. He can afford it too a distinctly tired Patty Mills some much needed rest.
Still, there are no set dates for the city’s withdrawal of vaccine mandates or guarantees that Irving will play home games before the post-season.
“Oh, man, you know it’s a completely different match. Of course we would love that he played, and of course it does not make sense. But I do not make the rules about it, you know? Hopefully soon we can have him with us. us every fight, “said Brooklyn striker James Johnson, who was mildly encouraged by Mayor Adams’ comments but took a ‘show me’ approach.
“Of course. But I’m not really encouraged by what people say.”