clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Optimism or pessimism on Kyrie Irving? Depends on who you talk to ... apparently

Brooklyn Nets v Orlando Magic Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The Nets have won six of their last seven and are in Memphis on Kyrie Irving’s 30th birthday but again it’s Irving’s vaccine status, not the team’s success nor any bash the Nets plan for him, that is in the news.

In what might be seen as competing narratives (from different perspectives), two ESPN writers on Wednesday offered separate and divergent takes on the prospects of Irving playing in more than two of Brooklyn’s next 10 games.

Adrian Wojnarowski, on both NBA Today and in a story with Jeff Passan, ESPN’s baseball writer, offered optimism Wednesday that the city may lift the private employer mandate that is keeping Irving off the court and could keep MLB stars on the Mets and Yankees off the field.

On NBA Today, Woj told that panel...

“What’s happening now with the mandate is that there are five-day increments to renew it. Thursday is an increment. Then, there’s another five days if they don’t renew it tomorrow.

I think there’s optimism that it is coming, that there’s a pathway for Kyrie Irving to play again with the Nets at home this season. but you heard Eric Adams, New York City’s mayor, yesterday say that the sports teams in New York, the Nets, Mets Yankees are going to have to wait their turn, but there’s optimism out there that they may not have to wait too much longer.”

Then, later in a tweet, Woj promoted an upcoming story with Passan...

But his colleague, Nets beat writer Nick Friedell, suggested otherwise in an interview with The Recount Alt, based on his conversations at City Hall...

“All the optimism that the Nets had that vaccin4 mandate would be rolled back in next few weeks is gone right now.

“I was in City Hall listening to Mayor Adams yesterday, and he’s as rooted in his stance as Kyrie [Irving] is rooted into his own stance.

“So the Nets are in a holding pattern, they’re in a waiting game, but they thought this would already be done. But Mayor Adams made it clear that that’s not going to happen at least for the next couple of weeks...

Now, that hope that they had that Kyrie would be available for games at Barclays Center? That’s gone.”

Meanwhile, the Nets had a brief scare when the Mayor suggested at a press conference Wednesday afternoon that the private employer mandate might apply to HSS Training Center which would mean Irving couldn’t practice with his teammates as they fight for a playoff spot...

Two hours later, however, the mayor’s press spokesman clarified things with an email to reporters...

The game, vs. the Grizzlies, starts at 7:30. And happy birthday, Kyrie.