As the Nets embark on their quest for the 2022 NBA title, they will do so without superstar goalkeeper Kyrie Irving for the foreseeable future.
Due to New York City regulations regarding people who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, it has been decided that Irving will not be able to participate in more than half of the team’s games, as 43 of the 82 Nets games will take place in New York City this term.
While Irving was eligible to participate in the team’s other 39 games in addition to practices conducted at the team’s facility in Brooklyn, the franchise announced that he would not be allowed to join the team until he could participate fully.
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What does this mean for the 2021-22 season? And what has been said about Irving’s standing?
Here’s what was said about Irving’s availability.
Is Kyrie Irving playing tonight?
On Tuesday, October 12, the Nets General Manager released an official statement regarding Irving’s availability.
“Given the evolving nature of the situation and after extensive deliberation, we have decided that Kyrie Irving will not play or train with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant. Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose.
“Choice currently limits his ability to be a full-time team member, and we will not allow any member of our team to participate with part-time availability.”
As it stands, Irving can become a full-time participant once he receives the COVID-19 vaccine.
What did Kyrie Irving say about his situation?
Irving, who was only available to the media via Zoom during Nets’ media day on September 28, took to Instagram Live to address his situation on Wednesday, October 13.
MORE: Everything Keri said on Instagram LIVE
On Instagram, Irving spoke about reports that he will miss 1/91.6 of his salary for every game he misses within the New York market as well as his vaccination status.
“Financial consequences, I know I don’t even want to do that. But the truth is that in order to be in New York City, to be on a team, I have to get vaccinated. I chose not to get vaccinated, and that was my choice, and I would ask you all to respect that choice.” “.
What did Kyrie Irving’s teammates say about his situation?
Hours before Irving took to Instagram, All Star guard James Harden answered a reporter’s question regarding his absence from the team.
“We just have to focus on the guys in this locker room who are here…that’s all we can control,” Harden started. “But for us, we have work to do. Individually, I still want to prepare for the tournament
A day later, Kevin Durant was asked about the team’s decision.
“I definitely want Kyrie to be around,” Durant told the press. “I hope none of these things happen, but that’s the situation we’re in. Kerry made up his mind about what he wanted to do and chose to do what he wanted to do, and the team did the same.”
MORE: How Kyrie’s Vaccine Status Affects The Status Of His Decade
Who will play in the absence of Irving?
Since Irving was scheduled to start alongside Harden in the Nets’ backcourt, the team now has to make a reshuffle in order to shape the starting lineup.
In the Nets’ final pre-season game, they started a backyard from Harden and Joe Harris and picked a larger front yard from Durant, Paul Millsap and Nic Claxton.
The Nets can also choose to go with Bruce Brown or Patty Mills in Irving’s absence, while rookie goalkeeper Cameron Thomas is also a player who can see the increased minutes while Irving is not playing.