More on Coronavirus Vaccine
Irving’s response came after he was asked what his message would be to people who have followed his story — specifically those who acknowledge that he had every right to take the stance he took but say his choice put the team in a much less advantageous position, especially as the playoffs begin. The Nets come into their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Boston Celtics as the seventh seed following a regular season in which Irving’s vaccination status hung over the organization. “I can’t address everybody, but as we move forward in time I know that I made the right decision for me,” Irving said.
Thybulle, after the 76ers’ 118-106 victory over the Detroit Pistons Sunday, said he was raised in a “holistic household” and declined to become fully vaccinated. He said he did feel the need to get one shot last season but did not go through with any more, saying “I felt like I had a solid foundation of medical resources that could serve me beyond what this vaccine could do for me.” “It was not the outcome that I wanted,” he said. “It’s always hard to not be available.”
On a March 29 episode of TSN’s OverDrive, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated seemingly put all that uncertainty to rest, revealing that two of the four are, in fact, unvaccinated – Brown and Horford. (H/T ProCity Hoops) “The variable in all this is, who can play in Toronto? Like, the Celtics have some unvaccinated guys. My understanding is, Jaylen Brown is unvaccinated, Al Horford is unvaccinated. Now, that can still change. There’s still enough time left in the season where, if they decide to get the vaccine, they will be eligible to play in a postseason game in Toronto. But, the Celtics are not the Celtics without Jaylen or Al Horford, and I’m certain they don’t want to go up to Toronto in that situation.” Mannix stated that, according to his knowledge, neither Brown nor Horford is vaccinated. And while there is still time to change that, as of now, neither is eligible to play in Toronto.
New York Mayor Eric Adams reiterated that while he remains optimistic about the COVID 19-related numbers he’s seeing, the city’s professional sports teams are going to have to wait their turn as far as potential vaccination-mandate rollbacks are concerned. “Right now, we’re going to take some complaints,” Adams said during a Tuesday morning news conference announcing that masks will be optional for day care students between the ages of 2 and 4 starting on April 4 if the COVID numbers hold. “But when this is all said and done, people are going to realize this is a thoughtful administration and we got it right. So baseball, basketball, businesses, all of those things, they have to wait until that layer comes.”
Durant called out New York City Mayor Eric Adams by name after a March 13 win over the New York Knicks, on the same day Irving, who is not vaccinated against COVID-19, sat courtside at Barclays Center, but could not play in the game because of the city’s mandate. Durant acknowledged what many in the Nets organization have known for months, and that Irving himself has made clear since returning as a part-time player on Jan. 5 — he will not be getting the shot. “I mean, what is it, April almost?” Durant said. “It’s pretty obvious that he’s not going to take the shot. So like I said, just focus on who you are and what you bring to the team every day and once that situation gets figured out, then it will. It’s out of my control, it’s out of everybody else’s control. So you can’t force anybody to do anything. So just try to just focus on me.”
Kevin Durant says Kyrie Irving is “frustrated” that he still cannot play Nets home games because of New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, but also thinks Brooklyn’s championship window extends beyond this season regardless of when his star teammate returns on a fulltime basis. “He’s frustrated in not being able to play,” Durant said after Monday’s shootaround. “He figured this stuff would be rolled back by now, we’d be way past this. But it’s the situation we’re in, we got to deal with it, he’s got to deal with it. Trusting that it’ll get figured out there soon. I have no clue what may happen, but I’m just trusting that things will work itself out. But I’m sure he misses playing in front of a home crowd and the home crowd, vice versa, they miss him. So hopefully we get it figured out soon.”
Protestors rallied outside Barclays Center on Friday in support of Kyrie Irving. While it’s uncertain if any more demonstrations are planned when the Nets play host to the Jazz on Monday, or in the immediate future, it’s clear the situation continues to be divisive. The protestors held signs that read “Wake Up New York” and “Brooklyn Loves Kyrie.” Others ripped up Nets tickets along with photos of Mayor Eric Adams, angered that he hasn’t repealed private sector vaccine mandates that bar the All-Star from playing home games. Adams hasn’t offered any timetable and city health commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan was equally vague Friday. “I think it’s indefinite at this point,” Dr. Vasan said. “People who’ve tried to predict what’s going to happen in the future for this pandemic have repeatedly found egg on their face, as they say. I’m not going to do that here.”
Kyrie Irving’s out-of-town residency status does not exempt him from any New York City vaccine mandates, the Daily News has learned. An Adams administration official told The News that Irving, the Nets’ unvaccinated superstar guard, will still be covered by the city’s private employer vaccine mandate even when the Key2NYC requirement for indoor spaces is set to be lifted on March 7. He will not be able to play in games at Barclays Center or Madison Square Garden — unless he manages to get a religious or health exemption from the private employer mandate.
That’s right, Kyrie Irving could suit up for the Nets at home this season. According to NY Daily News reporter Chris Sommerfeldt, New York City is close to phasing out COVID-19 vaccine mandates. He tweeted NYC Mayor Eric Adams’ excitement to getting the dropping the vaccine mandate for indoor spaces “in the next few weeks.”