Harden, Nash react to Irving's banishment from Nets
Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

James Harden, Steve Nash react to Kyrie Irving's banishment from Nets

Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks generated headlines Tuesday when he confirmed that All-Star guard Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team as Irving remains unvaccinated against COVID-19. New York City is enforcing its mandate that requires in-market NBA personnel to receive one of the safe and available vaccines or obtain an approved medical or religious exemption to enter arenas such as Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden, meaning Irving would not be eligible to play in Nets home game nor road games vs. the Knicks. 

Marks told reporters Tuesday he and Nets owner Joe Tsai decided to essentially banish Irving from team activities until the superstar is eligible to play in all games. Per Ryan Morik of SNY, Brooklyn guard James Harden explained Wednesday he had "no say" in the move and added he hasn't spoken to Irving since Tuesday's developments.

"That’s the front office," Harden said. "We had conversations, as far as a collective unit, and the ultimate decision that the front office made was that if Ky wasn’t gonna be here full-time, then it’s best for him not to be on the team part-time. I have no say so in that, and I can only state my opinion. We gotta continue to move forward. Obviously, we would love to have Kyrie here."

Meanwhile, head coach Steve Nash admitted he also hasn't spoken to Irving since Marks' press conference.

"It takes time to make decisions like that. This was a difficult decision, but I think it was a sound one and one that makes complete sense to everyone," Nash said. "And we’re just gonna have to move on. If things change, like I said, it would be incredible to have him back in the fold but it was a tenuous situation to have a player in and out like that. So there’s more clarity, and we can focus on the future and keep going."

It was reported later on Tuesday that the Philadelphia 76ers are currently not interested in completing a trade that would involve acquiring Irving in exchange for unsettled All-Star guard Ben Simmons, who only reported to the Sixers earlier this week. 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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