The clock is ticking on Kyrie Irving’s availability.
The Nets are flying home Sunday night and the team has announced there will be no practice Monday, meaning Tuesday is looking like crunchtime for the Nets and their shooting guard. If he’s still unvaccinated — or hasn’t received a religious or medical exemption — it appears he won’t be able to practice at HSS Training Center or Barclays Center under the city’s September 13 guidelines. The guidelines have been endorsed by the NBA and NBPA.
Here’s the specific language of the guidelines which were provided on September 1 to teams in New York and San Francisco, where similar guidelines are in place. They were relayed to unvaccinated players...
Steve Nash was asked about Irving’s vaccination status after the preseason game Sunday and before the team charter home.
“I don’t have an update on that,” Nash said of Irving’s availability for practice in Brooklyn. “So I really don’t know.”
Also this week, the Nets have a preseason game Friday night vs Milwaukee on Friday night and the team’s annual Practice in the Park early Saturday afternoon. Brooklyn’s home opener is October 24.
The Nets head coach said the decision not to play Irving in L.A. (along with six other Nets including the other two members of the “Big Three”) was not about the controversy.
“Not really. I think that was never a consideration really,” said Nash. Los Angeles has its own restrictions but they are not as stringent and have a carve-out for “entertainers.”
Nash and new teammate Paul Millsap had positive comments about Irving in practice this past week at the University of San Diego.
“I just think he was one of the many that were locked-in and performed well all week, were focused. To a man, everyone was really good this week. It was a positive week, but we’ve got two more weeks together before we start.”
Paul Millsap echoed Nash, saying Irving was a model professional.
“Come and do his job. Just comes in and works,” Millsap told the media. “He’s a worker. He comes in and works every single day. And that’s just that.”
Irving is likely to be under more pressure this week, not just because of the practice deadline. Andrew Wiggins of the Warriors who said he was committed not to take the vaccine relented over the weekend after the NBA declined to provide him a religious exemption. He is now vaccinated and available to his team.
Meanwhile, on Monday, ESPN reported The NBA and the NBPA have agreed to a reduction in pay of 1/91.6th of a player’s salary for each game an unvaccinated player misses in their home market because of local laws. For example, Kyrie Irving would lose roughly $381,000 per game.
With the Knicks and now the Warriors fully vaccinated, the rule currently would only to one player on the three teams playing in New York and San Francisco: Irving.
- Kyrie Irving’s practice status remains a Nets mystery - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Remaining unvaccinated will be costly for Nets’ Kyrie Irving - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Sources: Nets’ Kyrie Irving could lose millions according to NBA, NBPA agreement on salary reduction for unvaccinated players who miss games due to local COVID-19 vaccine mandates - Tim Bontemps & Bobby Marks - ESPN
- NBA VAX FIGHT PITS PLAYERS AGAINST MAYORS AS IRVING, OTHERS FACE WAGE LOSSES - Michael McCann - Sportico