On Saturday, Democratic mayoral candidate and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams offered some hope Saturday that Kyrie Irving will be able to play this season for the Nets, saying he’s “extremely optimistic” about the prospect.
Adams, an odds-on favorite to win the mayoral election on November 2, would take office January 1. He told reporters he thinks things will ultimately “work out” but was careful not to say he would remove or alter the executive order on indoor venues including Barclays Center signed by the current Mayor Bill deBlasio. Its restrictions went into effect on September 13. He also noted that he’ll follow City Department of Health recommendations. The DoH had significant input into deBlasio order.
“I’m going to sit down with the Department of Health and I’m going to follow them in every area of dealing with COVID, every area of dealing with health issues. I’m going to follow their directions. If their directions call for something, that is what I’m going to follow,” he said.
Besides him getting vaccinated, the only other “out” for Irving and the Nets at this point is if the City somehow alters its COVID protocols to permit the unvaccinated like Irving to play at Barclays Center ... and Madison Square Garden. Before the Nets decided not to accept Irving as anything other than a “full participant” and vanquished him, the organization was able to get a ruling that exempted the HSS Training Center in Industry from the order. That would have permitted Irving to practice with his teammates in Industry City.
“I think this is going to work itself out,” said Adams without offering much of a route to a final resolution of the issue. “I believe we’re going to find a way to have safety and to continue to keep our standards strong.”
The closest he got to specifics was suggesting that the NBA, the Nets and city come to “a real agreement,” again not specified, on Irving.
“I believe the NBA and Kyrie, they should work out how they are going to address that, and I think it’s going to be up to them and the city to come down with a real agreement, and at this time I think the NBA and Kyrie would be able to come to an agreement,” he said in answer to questions at a get-out-the-vote rally in Queens.
The Nets declined to comment, per the Post.
Adams, who had been elected Borough President in 2013, has been pro-vaccine both in office and in his campaign. On Friday, he emphasized his split with deBlasio on the issue of vaccine requirements for city schools. DeBlasio has been opposed. Adams is in favor.
“This is a city and country where we do vaccinate. I was vaccinated for smallpox, for mumps, measles and so many others,” said Adams Friday during an interview on WCBS 880. “We already have a system in place that states before you start school you receive your vaccination. It is to protect the child and the student population.”
As long as a COVID vaccine for children has been approved by the FDA, it should be mandated as required to attend school, Adams told WCBS 880.
Adams has been close to the Nets management and ownership during the years the team has been in Brooklyn. A year ago, he honored Joe and Clara Wu Tsai as Brooklyn COVID-19 Heroes for their efforts to supply ventilators and other critical components at the height of the pandemic in New York. Still, there would be political risks for Adams if he seen as carving out an exception that would benefit a single player. All the other Nets and all the Knicks players have been vaccinated.
- Eric Adams hopeful Kyrie Irving will suit up soon for hometown Nets - Rich Calder & Khristina Narizhnaya - New York Post