Thu. May 19th, 2022

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving will be able to practice at the team’s facility in Brooklyn, confirmed sources to ESPN, but will still not be able to play in home games due to the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The change in Irving’s status is due to the city stating that the HSS Training Center, Nets’ training facility in Brooklyn, is a “private office building” as opposed to an indoor gym – one of the many indoor facilities that fall under the city’s vaccine mandate that entered in force last month.

“It sounds like we may have Kyrie on the move with us, but I’m not sure he’s playing since we’ve not seen him in a week, and of course safety first,” Nets coach Steve Nash told reporters. before Friday night in the preseason in Brooklyn against the Milwaukee Bucks, the first matchup Irving was forced to miss this season due to the vaccine requirement. “It’s not going to have a huge risk of injury, but a lot of work needs to be done. We’ll just get information at the same time as you are, so we’ll see [what happens]. “

Irving has not been on the team since Brooklyn returned from California, where the Nets held training camp in San Diego before their pre-season opener – where Irving did not play – Sunday in Los Angeles against the Lakers.

New York City’s vaccination mandate says a person must have evidence of at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot to enter indoor gyms, including the Barclays Center, Nets ‘home and Madison Square Garden, Knicks’ home, among other things – prevented Irving in participating in the team media day. Irving instead joined the event, held Sept. 27 at the Barclays Center, via a Zoom call from his home.

The claim also forced Irving to miss training this week, prompting Nash to be asked if the Nets had considered moving their training ground to give the star point guard to train with them – an idea the coach rejected.

But now it is not necessary after Friday’s change of town’s attitude to allow Irving to train at the facility. The Nets are scheduled to have an open training session at Brooklyn Bridge Park on Saturday afternoon and then have a training session at their facility on Sunday before heading to Philadelphia for Monday’s game against the 76ers – the only time Irving can play, from now on, before the season opens. on Oct. 19 in Milwaukee against defending champion Bucks.

“I mean, I think all I want to say is my first kind of thought that it’s positive,” Nash said. “We have him on the team for a bigger period of our season. We’ll see what happens. I do not know. This [ruling] came right in. Is there another one coming? Will he be allowed to play at home at some point? Will he not be able to practice at our facility at some point?

“We’re just following some of the latest, and I do not think anyone has been through this before. It’s clear that the pandemic has been new to everyone, but now we’re in a position where the pandemic is also creating all these different new ones. “I really do not know what to say, other than that it is positive that he can now join his teammates at our gym and train, and that gives us more points of contact with him and we go from there.”

Asked about the potential for Irving to play on Monday and whether it was like checking in on an injured player to see where they are at given the time Irving has spent away from the team, Nash agreed with the comparison.

“Yes, more or less, because when someone is able to resume full activity on the field,” Nash said, they still need “a certain amount of intensive work before you would put them in a game. I think Even if you are not injured, you must still reach these thresholds, and if you are injured when you are healthy, you must quote unquote, you must also reach these thresholds. “

The change in the city’s stance does not affect Irving’s inability to play games in Brooklyn – or at Madison Square Garden twice a year, the Nets will face rival Knicks – which could cost him more than $ 17 million if he does not. adheres to the mandate all season long.

But while the NBA and National Basketball Players Association have agreed that under the terms of the agreement, anyone who misses games without “reasonable cause” this season will give up 1 / 91.6 of their salary for every game they go miss, the union has not agreed that the mandate applies to Irving’s situation.

“They have reported that we have agreed that if a player was unable to play due to his non-vaccination status, they could be put to docking. [pay]”Michele Roberts, NBPA’s CEO, told The New York Daily News earlier this week.” We did not agree. The league’s position is that they can. We will see.”

The Athletic first reported the news of New York’s change of attitude toward the Nets’ facility.


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