Nets Won’t Allow Kyrie Irving to Play Until He is a ‘Full Participant’

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Nets general manager Sean Marks said the team will not allow Kyrie Irving to play or practice “until he is eligible to be a full participant.”

Irving is currently ineligible to play in Brooklyn home games in 2021–22 until he receives the COVID-19 vaccine. He could theoretically join the Nets on the road without getting vaccinated, but Marks put an end to that possible scenario on Tuesday.

“We have decided Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant,” Marks said in a statement. “Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose.

“Currently his choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability.”

Irving attended Nets practice last week after New York officials deemed the HSS Training Center in Brooklyn a “private facility.”

Nets coach Steve Nash said on Sunday that the team was “going to have to for sure play without [Irving],” in 2021–22, though he noted he hoped for Irving to return to the floor at some point this season.

“I think we recognize he’s not playing home games,” Nets coach Steve Nash told the media in Brooklyn. “We’re going to have to for sure play without him this year. So it just depends on when, where and how much.”

Brooklyn opens the 2021-22 season in Milwaukee on Oct. 19. The Nets start a six-game home stand Oct. 24.

(By Michael Shapiro, SI.COM, 12.10.2021)

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