Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving didn’t attend the group’s media day at Barclays Heart on Monday due to New York Metropolis’s COVID-19 protocols, and he declined to debate his vaccination standing or his intentions in coping with the matter.
Final month, New York Metropolis mayor Invoice de Blasio issued an govt order that required New York-resident professional athletes that apply or play indoors to indicate proof of no less than one vaccine shot.
Unable to attend the Brooklyn Nets’ media day, Kyrie Irving requested for privateness Monday when pressed about his vaccination standing and availability for dwelling video games.
“I do know that I’ll be there on daily basis it doesn’t matter what and simply be current for my teammates as one of many leaders on the group and be there for my rising tribe off the court docket,” Irving mentioned.
“I do know the main focus must be at an all-time excessive, no distractions. That is the very last thing I needed to create, was extra distractions and extra hoopla and extra drama round this. I’m doing my finest to take care of this with good intentions and coronary heart.”
Irving is anticipated to journey with the group to San Diego later Monday and take part within the group’s coaching camp this week, sources advised ESPN.
On a weird day through which comic David Letterman was current however Irving wasn’t, the All-Star guard spoke by way of Zoom via a monitor arrange within the interview room at Barclays Heart. New York has a mandate requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for athletes who play in or apply within the metropolis.
Irving wouldn’t say if he has acquired a shot or if he meant to get one. If a participant is just not vaccinated, he can be compelled to take a seat out the Nets’ dwelling video games.
“There’s simply plenty of questions on what’s occurring on the earth of Kyrie and I feel I’d love to only preserve that personal and deal with it the proper means with my group and go ahead along with a plan,” Irving mentioned. “So clearly I’m not capable of be current there at the moment, however that doesn’t imply that I’m placing any limits on the way forward for me having the ability to be part of the group.”
An NBA spokesman mentioned the league didn’t plan to touch upon whether or not any gamers had requested an exemption from the legislation. Final week, the NBA introduced it declined an exemption request from Golden State Warriors ahead Andrew Wiggins relating to an identical legislation in San Francisco. Every metropolis would additionally need to challenge an exemption for a participant to play with out vaccination.
“That’s on Kyrie and that’s his private choice. What he does is just not on us to take a position what might occur,” Nets star Kevin Durant mentioned. “We belief in Kyrie, and I count on us to have our entire group in some unspecified time in the future.”
“Clearly Ky is a big a part of what we’re making an attempt to do,” teammate James Harden mentioned.
Different Nets gamers at media day indicated Irving had performed in latest pickup video games with teammates. The brand new ordinance went into impact two weeks in the past.
Final week, Nets normal supervisor Sean Marks mentioned there have been a “couple of individuals” nonetheless not compliant with the brand new legislation however that the expectation was everybody can be prepared by the beginning of camp. Monday, all Nets gamers have been current aside from Irving.
“We really feel assured within the a number of days earlier than camp all people shall be allowed to take part totally,” Marks mentioned then.
The Nets are internet hosting their coaching camp in San Diego, so Irving would be capable to take part. They may return to Brooklyn after taking part in their exhibition opener in Los Angeles subsequent Sunday.
“Please, all the pieces shall be launched at a due date and as soon as we get this cleared up,” Irving mentioned. “As of proper now, please simply respect my privateness relating to something — dwelling video games, what’s taking place with vaccination.”
The gamers who have been requested about Irving mentioned they weren’t involved. That included Kevin Durant, who was requested after getting a couple of comedic questions comparable to why he was nicknamed “KD” from Letterman, who mentioned he was reporting for Basketball Digest.
“It’s on Kyrie and that’s his private choice,” Durant mentioned. “What he does is just not on us to take a position what might occur, however we belief in Kyrie. I count on us to have our entire group in some unspecified time in the future.”