If Kyrie Irving doesn't change his ways soon, he won't suit up for the Brooklyn Nets anytime in the near future.
Nets general manager Sean Marks said Tuesday that Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to become a full participant under local COVID-19 vaccination requirements.
Nets GM Sean Marks statement on Brooklyn's decision to sit Kyrie Irving until he fulfills NYC vaccination rules: pic.twitter.com/4LBIQXt7al— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 12, 2021
New York City's current COVID-19 vaccine mandate requires a person to have proof of at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot to enter indoor gyms, including both Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden, home of the Nets and New York Knicks, respectively.
If at full strength and attendance, the Nets' big three of Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden goes unmatched by any other NBA Eastern Conference team according to most basketball pundits. Even with just two of the team's big three, plus role players like Joe Harris, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge and Paul Millsap, many believe the Nets can still challenge the defending NBA-champion Milwaukee Bucks for the crown in the East, along with Western Conference heavyweights like the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz.
In an ideal world with no injuries or off-court issues though, the inclusion of Irving makes the Nets heavy favorites for their first NBA title in franchise history.
Irving is coming off a 54-game season in which he averaged 26.9 points, 6.0 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.7 steals per contest, but he missed the final three games of the team's Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Bucks, where the Nets fell in seven games.