Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving will be able to practice at the team’s Brooklyn facility, sources confirmed to ESPN, but will not yet 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 determining that the HSS Training Center, the Nets’ practice facility in Brooklyn, is a “private office building”, rather than an indoor gym, one of many covered facilities that fall under the city’s vaccination mandate that went into effect last month.
“It looks like we can have Kyrie on the road with us, but I’m not sure if he plays as we haven’t seen him in a week, and obviously safety comes first,” Nets coach Steve Nash told reporters. . ahead of Friday night’s game in Brooklyn against the Milwaukee Bucks, the first game Irving was forced to miss this season due to the city’s vaccination mandate. “We are not going to have a great risk of injury, but there is a lot to work on. We are getting information at the same time as you, so we will see [qué sucede]”.
Irving has not been with the team since Brooklyn returned from California, where the Nets held training camp in San Diego before playing their first preseason game, in which Irving did not play, on Sunday in Los Angeles against the Lakers.
The city’s vaccination mandate, which says a person must have proof of at least one COVID-19 vaccine to enter, among other places, indoor gyms, including the Barclays Center, the home of the Nets, and Madison Square Garden, the home of the Knicks, blocked Irving from participating in the team’s press day, which was held Sept. 27 at the Barclays Center. Irving, instead, joined via a Zoom call from his home.
It also forced him to miss practice this week, prompting Nash to be asked if the team had considered changing their practice site to allow their star point guard to work with them, an idea Nash dismissed.
But now that won’t be necessary, after the city’s change of position on Friday to allow Irving to exercise at the facility. The Nets are scheduled to have open practice at Brooklyn Bridge Park on Saturday afternoon, then have practice 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 October 19 in Milwaukee against the defending champion Bucks.
“I mean, I think all I would say is my first thought is that it’s positive,” Nash said. “We have him in the team for a longer period of our season. We’ll see what happens. I don’t know. This one. [sentencia] just arrived. Is there another to come? Will you be allowed to play? at home at some point? Are you not going to be able to practice at our facilities at some point?
“We are following the latest, and I don’t think anyone has been through this before. Obviously, the pandemic has been new to everyone, but now we are in a position where the pandemic creates all these different new scenarios as well. I really don’t know what. To say apart from that it is positive that now he can meet with his colleagues in our practice center and train, and it gives us more points of contact with him and we will go from there. “
When asked about the possibility of Irving playing on Monday, and whether it was like checking an injured player to see where he stands given the time Irving has spent away from the team, Nash agreed that it was a good way to see the situation.
“Yeah, more or less, because when someone is able to resume full activity on the court, they would still have to do a certain amount of high intensity work before putting it into a game,” Nash said. “I think even if he is not injured, he still has to reach those thresholds, and if he is injured once he is healthy, in quotes, he must also reach those thresholds.”
The city’s change in stance does not affect Irving’s inability to play games in Brooklyn, or at Madison Square Garden the twice a year that the Nets will face rival Knicks, which could cost Irving more than $ 17 million. if you don’t. Comply with the mandate throughout the season.
But while the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have agreed that, under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, anyone who misses games without “reasonable cause” this season will forfeit 1 / 91.6 of their salary for every game that is lost, the union has not accepted that the mandate applies to Irving’s situation.
“They have been reporting that we have agreed that if a player who was unable to play due to his non-vaccination status, he could be withdrawn. [pagar]”Michele Roberts, executive director of the NBPA, told The New York. Daily News earlier this week.” We disagreed. The league’s position is that they can. We’ll see”.
Athletic first reported the news of New York’s change in stance on the Nets facility as a place Irving could attend in compliance with the city’s mandate.