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Nets banking on change in NYC COVID protocols before Kyrie Irving vaccination

Kyrie Irving Nets
Kyrie Irving
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets have a better chance relying on loopholes and New York City lifting its COVID-19 mandates sometime in the next six months than on Kyrie Irving getting the vaccine. 

Irving refuses to take the vaccine, which will hold him out of all Nets home games at Barclays Center due to the city’s protocols requiring everyone in an indoor venue — including a basketball arena — to receive at least one dose of either the Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Nets head coach Steve Nash, resigned to the fact that he won’t be without a pillar of his “Big 3” for home games, all but revealed that this will be the case.

“I think we recognize he’s not playing home games,” Nash said on Sunday. “We’re going to have to for sure play without him this year; so it just depends on when, where, and how much.”

At the moment, Irving is slated to miss 43 games in New York alone — 41 at Barclays Center and two at Madison Square Garden when the Nets play the Knicks. The Golden State Warriors are also expected to enforce San Francisco’s strict COVID-19 protocols, which would add an additional game to Irving’s absence. 

The Nets could continue searching for loopholes after the team’s practice facility was ruled as a private office — allowing Irving to practice with the team. As it stands, non-resident players (not living in New York) don’t have to be vaccinated to play at Barclays Center or Madison Square Garden. Irving lives in New Jersey.

“Yeah, I don’t know. Opposing players can come in here unvaccinated and play, so the rules change. I don’t know,” Nash said. “Right now the unfortunate truth is I can’t come in here and make any claims, because I really don’t know; so I’m just going to have to keep pushing you guys off.”

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