What a whirlwind week.
At first, it looked like things were finally about to go the Nets way. New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced on Sunday that he was lifting Key2NYC vaccination mandates on March 7, which required vaccination for entertainment venues, indoor restaurants and gymnasiums. Presumably, this would open the door for a return for Kyrie Irving.
Not so fast.
Corn Athleticismof Shams Charania and ESPN’While Adrian Wojnarowski had conflicting information on the matter, a spokesperson for Mayor Adams clarified that Irving could not walk on the floor due to the private sector mandate, which prohibits unvaccinated workers from accessing city workplaces. Irving, of course, would fall into this category.
In short, no vaccine, no Kyrie Irving for home games.
Before the start of Monday’s game against the Toronto RaptorsSteve Nash was asked about his thoughts on the rain of news about vaccine mandates.
“I’m just waiting to see how this all pans out,” Nash said. “It is not my domain to get involved in policies and mandates. So I will wait patiently and hopefully we will have some good news at some point.
Nash also mentioned that the front office is still looking for information on the structuring of these changes – and whether the team can get their star guard back as soon as possible.
“Yes, our front office just said there will be a change on the 7th and they are digging into what that means, what it looks like, what is possible,” Nash said. “And so that’s the only information, so we didn’t expect him to play until the seventh and we’re still not sure if he can play after the seventh. We’re just waiting to see the news, and I’m sure they’ll let us know.
Mayor Adams’ tenure in the private sector was the cause of the layoff of 1,400 New York workers who refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by February 14. He is unlikely to go back on his word a few weeks later and lift the warrant. after such a monotonous decision just for an NBA athlete.
There is a precedence in other cities across the United States of mayors and other powerful figures making exceptions for unvaccinated athletes. Boston, for example, granted then-Celtic Josh Richardson an exemption to play as an unvaccinated player. This may be the Nets’ best option going forward. We’ll see.