NYC COVID mandate to change, but not on the Nets clock

COVID Eric Adams Kyrie Irving
New York Mayor Eric Adams speaks during a news conference at City Hall in New York City,
REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

New York City Mayor Eric Adams spoke recently about his desire to loosen the COVID vaccine mandates in the five boroughs within the coming weeks. It’s a hopeful sign for the future, and many were quick to connect that timeline with a potential playoff run for the Brooklyn Nets that would include Kyrie Irving playing home games, but the changes may not come on the Nets or Irving’s timeline.

“The real game we’re fighting is a game of safety and health, and we’re going to make the right decision for New Yorkers,” Adams said during a morning interview on PIX 11. “I want that championship ring, but not at the expense of making sure we shut down our city again, and if it falls in line, it falls in line. If it’s not, we got to make the right decision for New Yorkers.”

While Adams desires the city to return to some form of normalcy, he was very clear that he will not take this decision lightly.  When it comes to a decision about loosening the vaccine mandate, Adams has been vocal that he will trust the science and won’t do anything that puts the city in a position where it may again be subjected to another potential lockdown.

The number of reported cases continues to dwindle, and while the mandates have not changed as of yet, there is clear hope that they will come sometime in the near future; it just won’t necessarily be based on the Nets’ desired timeline. Brooklyn would obviously like the changes to occur as soon as possible so their star point guard Irving, who has declined to be vaccinated, can return to the hardwood at Barclays Center.

Irving has only suited up for 14 of the Nets’ 60 games played so far. Having him back would be of the utmost importance for the Brooklyn Nets as they prepare for a playoff push. Currently the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, the Nets know they have plenty of room to improve and will attempt to do just that over their final 22 games with or without Irving. It would be easier with his help, though, of course, as the team is already missing both Durant (knee) and Ben Simmons (conditioning).

While Adams’ vaccine mandate changes may not coincide with the desires of the Nets, it coincidentally is looking like the changes will be put into place by the start of the NBA playoffs. Hopefully, Irving and the team will be able to build the proper chemistry on the court needed to succeed in the postseason.

Change is coming, just not on the Brooklyn Nets’ clock.