About an hour and change before tip-off against the Milwaukee Bucks, the news dropped.
Kyrie Irving has been cleared to practice with the Brooklyn Nets. Brooklyn’s practice facility, the HSS Training Center, has been determined as private office space by the New York City city counsel, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Charania clarified in a second tweet that this latest ruling does not apply to the Barclays Center, meaning that Irving is still ineligible to play at home. Ian Begley of SNY further detailed the rational behind the city’s ruling. New York, Begley writes, sees the HSS practice facility as “a private workplace” not subject to vaccine mandate. Barclays Center, which is open to the public, remains subject to vaccine mandate, per Begley.
That said, having Irving at least somewhat in the fold shifts the team’s calculus with Kyrie’s participation this season. After Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Nets were approaching Irving’s status as an active player as “full-time or nothing,” Nash indicated that the latest news slightly nudges the Nets into recalibrating that stance.
“My first kind of thought is that it’s positive,” said Nash about having Irving as a part-time player. “We have him around the team for a larger period of our season. We’ll see what it means.”
Nash also informed reporters that Irving is eligible to join the Nets for Saturday’s Practice in the Park outdoor event at Brooklyn Bridge Park. He’ll be able to join his teammates on the Manhattan-facing courts and participate in drills.
Will Irving be there? It’s unclear. He’s scheduled to be at an event of his own, “Basketball Tryouts” with Rod Strickland and Portland Trail Blazers star CJ McCollum in the Bronx, which not-so-conventionally starts at 12:30 ET — the same time as the start of Practice in the Park. Steve Nash said there is a “chance” that Irving is at Practice in the Park.
The Nets are set to travel to Philadelphia for their third preseason game. Irving would technically be eligible to play given Philadelphia's city COVID-19 protocols, which do not require proof of vaccination to enter a public space like a basketball arena, unlike New York City.
Steve Nash said the “hope is that Kyrie Irving will practice tomorrow” in preparation for the exhibition matchup against the Sixers Monday. Nash mentioned that some degree of ramp-up will be needed for Irving to participate in the 8 PM ESPN 2 headliner in Philadelphia, so Irving’s availability will depend on how Brooklyn’s weekend practices go.
Nash also announced that Paul Millsap, who had a double-double vs. the Lakers, is out due to the league’s health and safety protocols.
- Kyrie Irving able to practice with Nets at Brooklyn facility, sources say - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN
- Kyrie Irving can join Nets for home practices - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Irving could join Nets at practice after ruling from city - Brian Mahoney - AP
- Durant still sees Irving playing for Nets despite vaccine stance - Reuters
- Kyrie Irving could be back in practice after ruling on Nets’ training facility - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Kyrie Irving’s availability for practice alone isn’t enough - Kristian Winfield - New York Post
- New York City ruling clears the way for Nets’ Kyrie Irving to practice, but other concerns persist - Alex Schiffer - The Athletic
- Kyrie Irving allowed to practice in Brooklyn, Kevin Durant says Nets ‘want him here for the whole thing’ - James Herbert - CBS Sports
- Nets’ Kevin Durant on Kyrie Irving being able to practice: ‘We want him here for the whole thing’ - Alex Smith - SNY
- Nets’ Kyrie Irving now permitted to practice at team facility - Ian Begley & Alex Smith - SNY
- Kyrie Irving Cleared To Practice, But Not Play Home Games With Brooklyn Nets Despite Vaccination Status - Adam Zagoria - Forbes Sports Money
- Kyrie Irving cleared to attend Nets practices in Brooklyn - Ajayi Browne - USA Today
- Tammany Hall redux? Nets’ practice facility now cleared for (apparently unvaccinated) star Irving, since it’s part of office building limited to tenants (really?) - Norman Oder - Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report