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Brooklyn Nets say Kyrie Irving Won’t Play or Practice with the Team Due to Vaccination Status

At 11 a.m. on Tuesday, the Brooklyn Nets released a statement from their general manager, Sean Marks, stating that the team has decided that Kyrie Irving will not be able to play or practice with the team until he is able to participate fully. 

The statement from Marks says that Irving will not be able to have “part-time availability” but would be welcomed back once he complied with New York City’s mandate. The vaccine mandate went into effect last month. It states that anyone entering an indoor gym, including Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden—the homes of the Nets and New York Knicks—must have had at least one COVID-19 shot. Due to this, Irving would be unable to play 43 regular-season games, 41 at Barclays Center, plus two at MSG. According to ESPN, Irving would’ve only lost money for those games, roughly $380,000 per game. 

Marks said that Irving’s decision to not comply with NYC’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate left the organization with “no choice” but to omit him. “He has a choice to make, and he made his choice,” said Marks. “Again, my job here is to make what we deem as the best decision and best choices for the organization moving ahead as a whole. These are hard decisions. Just like I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Kyrie either to have to make that [decision] to not be around his teammates.” 

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