Oct 12, 2021 - Sports

Nets: Kyrie Irving won't play until he's eligible as "full participant"

Kyrie Irving playing against Jrue Holiday.

Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets (left) going up against Jrue Holiday of the Milwaukee Bucks. Photo: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving will not be allowed to play or practice until he is "eligible to be a full participant" under local COVID-19 vaccine rules, Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a statement Tuesday.

Driving the news: New York City's COVID-19 vaccine mandate requires individuals to have proof of at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine to enter indoor arenas or gyms.

  • When asked about his vaccine status last month, Irving told reporters, "Honestly, I like to keep that stuff private," per CBS.
  • He added that he would "handle it the right way with my team and go forward together with a plan."
  • It was previously unclear whether the Nets would allow Irving to play in road games, but Marks said Tuesday the team will not "permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability."

What they're saying: “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," Marks said in a statement.

  • "Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose," he added.
  • "It is imperative that we continue to build chemistry as a team and remain true to our long-established values of togetherness and sacrifice," Marks added.
  • Marks also added that the goal of winning a championship hasn't changed but that it requires "each member of our organization [pulling] in the same direction."

The big picture: Irving averaged 26.9 points per game last season, which was the ninth highest in the NBA, per ESPN.

Go deeper: Unvaccinated NBA players sidelined by vaccine mandates will lose pay

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