For those who may be tardy to the party, the Brooklyn Nets made the tough decision of benching Kyrie Irving until he gets at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. But the mandate itself is not a decision that has been made by the Nets or the NBA. It is a requirement of the New York City health and safety protocols that players receive at least the first dose of the coronavirus vaccination to play basketball indoors. Although the Nets have decided to sideline Irving, he is still able to play in markets where the vaccine is not required.
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Kyrie Could Suit up for 2022 All-Star Game
The 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend is set to take place at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, the home of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland does not have a vaccination mandate and thus Irving would be eligible to play in the All-Star Game if he were voted onto the team. Sources tell Brian Lewis of the “New York Post,” that Irving is expected to be on the All-Star ballot when it is released.
“When the ballot for the 2022 NBA All-Star game is released, multiple sources have confirmed to The Post that Kyrie Irving is expected to be on it,” Lewis writes.
“That leaves open the possibility that the Nets star could make his first, last, and only appearance of the season in the All-Star Game. It’s unlikely and seems crazy, which pretty much makes it par for the course with the way Irving’s year has gone.”
While Irving has been sidelined by the Nets, he is still on Brooklyn’s official team roster. As per the NBA’s updated All-Star voting process, that makes Irving eligible to be on the ballot.
“When the NBA updated its All-Star voting process, all players on the rosters were put on the ballot,” Lewis continues.
“Both league and team sources indicated that because Irving is still on the Nets’ official roster — sent home but not suspended — he won’t be an exception, despite not having played a second for the Nets this season.”
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Eric Adams Optimistic Kyrie Will Play This Season
Head coach Steve Nash previously said that the Nets’ would welcome Kyrie back with open arms if New York City were to lift the vaccine mandate. Former Brooklyn Borough president and New York City Mayor-Elect Eric Adams plays a major role in making those policies and is optimistic that Kyrie will play again this season.
“I think this is going to work itself out I believe we’re going to find a way to have safety and to continue to keep our standards strong,” Adams told the “New York Post.”
“I believe the NBA and Kyrie, they should work out how they are going to address that, and I think it’s going to be up to them … and the city to come down with a real agreement, and at this time I think the NBA and Kyrie would be able to come to an agreement.”
Adams Says New York Won’t Change Vaccine Policies
However, following his election in November Adams was adamant that New York City would not be changing its policies.
“The NBA says it’s the rule in New York City and they’re simply obeying what New York City has ruled, and New York City is not going to change their rule,” Adams said per NetsDaily.
“And again, it’s up to the NBA and Kyrie Irving [come] to a full understanding on how to keep him on the Nets and continue to look at all of our athletes that are coming here. And again, I think the NBA and Kyrie will come to a conclusion on this work something out.”
Kyrie is one of the most popular players in the NBA. If he is on the ballot, getting voted into the All-Star game is not as far-fetched as it seems.