Kyrie Irving’s availability for the remainder of the month will be limited thanks to his unvaccinated status, but the Nets superstar has remained hopeful that something will change that will allow him to play in the five boroughs.
New York City’s current vaccine mandate doesn’t allow for Irving to play in any games that take place at the Barclays Center or at Madison Square Garden. Regulations in Canada also prevent him from playing in Toronto.
All of that means Irving is limited to playing in three of the Nets’ next 11 games. For a Nets team that can ill-afford even more roster chaos, not having Irving on the floor will be tough, but the seven-time All-Star isn’t giving up hope that he’ll play at home this season.
“I’m keeping a positive mindset that anything could happen these next few days or the next week,” Irving said after the Nets dropped their eighth straight game. “Just crossing my fingers that something can come up either before the all-star break or even just after. I’m definitely keeping a positive attitude in that sense.”
Irving said he had not been in contact with anyone from the mayor’s office about the mandate when asked by a reporter.
New York City has seen a significant drop in COVID numbers, with new cases plunging 82% over the past 15 days. However, it remains to be seen that the declining numbers mean that the city will reverse course on the vaccine mandate.
Just last week a city spokesperson told NBA insider Chris Haynes that there had been no plans to amend the mandate.
“The spokesperson also added, ‘we will continue to follow the science and the guidance of public health professionals to keep to New Yorkers safe. And we encourage all New Yorkers to get vaccinated and boosted to stop the spread,’” Haynes said during last week’s TNT broadcast of the Nets meeting with the Phoenix Suns.