Two days after Sean Marks told the media he’s “confident” that his team will meet league and city standards on COVID vaccinations by Opening Night, Yaron Weitzman of FOX Sports reports that Irving “has yet to receive a vaccine shot,” citing “multiple league sources,” not further identified.
Specifically, here’s what Weitzman reported Thursday afternoon, as part of a larger piece on the status of the NBA’s vaccination policies days before the opening of training camp...
According to multiple league sources, Irving has yet to receive a vaccine shot. Both the Nets and a spokeswoman for Irving declined to comment on the record
New York City regulations, backed by the NBA, prohibit Nets and Knicks players from participating in games, practices, or unspecified “team activities” unless they’ve received at least one of the two messenger RNA vaccines from Pfizer or Moderna or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Players can also apply to the NBA for an exemption from the regulations based on medical or religious grounds.
In a September 1 memo provided the two New York teams — and the Golden State Warriors, which must follow similar San Francisco guidelines — the NBA pointed out that those players who cannot suit up for home games are at risk of losing compensation and/or being fined.
Before the Weitzman report, Marks expressed confidence that the Nets will meet requirements governing COVID. He also noted that as of Tuesday, a “couple of people” had not yet met the standards.
“Regarding if they could play today, I can’t comment on who could play and so forth. There would obviously be a couple of people missing from that picture,” Marks said Tuesday in his and Steve Nash’s preseason press conference. “I won’t get into who it is, but we feel confident in the following several days before camp everybody would be allowed to participate and so forth.”
Earlier in the same press conference, Marks said of the team’s in-house vaccination discussions...
“I think we all understand what’s at stake and we’ve had very candid conversations. Those are individual decisions, whether it’s a staff member or a player has to come to terms with, it’s obviously out of our control. We are supporting getting the vaccination and putting out a healthy squad.”
“So at this point, I think we’re ready to go into the season, we don’t see these — whether it’s a city-wide mandate or a league mandate to follow — being any sort of hindrance to us putting out a team.”
Marks did not say all of his 15 players and two two-ways would be vaccinated just that they will be allowed to participate and participate fully ... perhaps suggesting that a player could receive an exemption. Neither Marks on Tuesday nor a team spokesman on Thursday would provide any further details, citing HIPAA privacy regulations.
With training camp opening Tuesday at the University of San Diego, the Nets have a little leeway before they have to meet the city and NBA standards. The team doesn’t return to Brooklyn until after they play the Lakers on October 3 in Los Angeles. (The Laker game could also be an issue. A new rule, announced this week by California health authorities, requires those at indoor “mega events” to provide proof that they are either fully vaccinated or tested negative for the virus within 72 hours of the event start time. The state defines indoor “mega events,” as a crowd of at least 1,000 people.)
Irving was last seen in public a week and a half ago when he sat masked with family members courtside at a WNBA game at Staples Center. Staples Center policy at the time officially required that fans sitting courtside be vaccinated.
Irving is not the only NBA player who’s facing a vaccination decision. Andrew Wiggins of the Warriors is not vaccinated yet, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
On Friday, the NBA denied Wiggins his application for a religious exemption.
Overall, Shams Charania reported later Thursday, about 90 percent of the NBA’s roughly 500 players are fully vaccinated.
- UNVACCINATED NBA PLAYERS COULD BE SIDELINED IN SOME MARKETS IN 2021-22 SEASON - Yaron Weitzman - FOX Sports
- Kyrie Irving reportedly not vaccinated as NYC mandate looms - Zach Braziller - New York Post