Kyrie Irving is one of the NBA’s most celebrated players, and as such, he has a lot to lose. He recently made headlines after not being vaccinated against COVID-19, which is a virus that causes flu-like symptoms in humans. If he catches it, he could be forced to sit out for an extended period of time.
We discovered on Tuesday that the Nets may have a few of players who haven’t been immunized. Vaccination is not a requirement in the NBA. However, a few cities have developed their own laws that have become important. Because to local COVID regulations in New York and San Francisco, all players on the Knicks, Nets, and Warriors would need a jab to practice and play at home. However, there may be a few exceptions to this rule, which we’ll discuss below. According to Yaron Weitzman of FoxSports, one player who hasn’t been vaccinated yet is Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving.
According to Weitzman:
“Kyrie Irving of the New York Nets is one player who may be impacted. Irving has yet to get a vaccination injection, according to numerous league sources. The Nets and a spokesperson for Irving refused to comment on Irving’s vaccination status on the record, but Nets general manager Sean Marks was asked if New York City’s requirement might force any of his team’s players to sit out.
There’s no official confirmation on any of this yet, but Kyrie Irving has been seen at several basketball venues in areas where vaccinations are needed, such as the Staples Center.
But, if Weitzman’s story proves to be correct, what are Irving’s options? What about religious or medical exemptions?
According to Ian Begley and Alex Smith of SNY:
“Visiting players are free from the vaccination requirement under a New York City executive order, but Knicks and Nets players are not. San Francisco has a similar municipal law that affects the Warriors.
If an unvaccinated Knick or Net player does not have a medical or religious exemption (as decided by the NBA), he or she will not be permitted to access home arenas or practice facilities, nor will he or she be able to participate in any games, practices, or other team activities held there.
Players who do not follow the local regulations, according to Begley, may be considered to be failing to deliver services under the terms of their contract, and they may be penalized or suspended by the league or their club, or their pay may be decreased.
It doesn’t seem like this will be a problem for the New York Knicks.
Scott Perry, the general manager of the New York Knicks, confirmed that his squad is completely immunized. The Detroit Pistons are another club that has been completely immunized, according to sources. For a young squad, it’s one less headache.
September 24, 2021 — Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill)
However, it seems like Andrew Wiggins and the Golden State Warriors will have difficulties.
Andrew Wiggins’ request for a religious exemption from the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s mandate mandating COVID-19 immunization for all players aged 12 and older at big indoor events has been rejected, according to the NBA.
September 24, 2021 — Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania)
According to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Cwik:
According to the San Francisco Gate, “the San Francisco Department of Public Health decided Friday that unvaccinated people cannot enter the Chase Center, even if they have a religious or medical exemption.”
So, if Weitzman’s claim that Kyrie Irving hasn’t been vaccinated is correct, and if Irving has decided not to get the vaccine, the next logical issue is if New York would follow San Francisco’s lead and prohibit the rare exceptions.
Irving’s ineligibility to play home games un Brooklyn would potentially be the worst-case situation for the Nets. If any of the Nets’ top three were to miss a game due to a damaged ankle, torn hamstring, or vaccination status, it would significantly level the playing field. In their present form, the Nets boast the most talented squad in the NBA, as well as the greatest player on the world.
So we’ll wait for confirmation on the Weitzman story, as well as if New York would rule similarly to San Francisco on possible vaccination requirement exclusions, should any Nets players, like as Kyrie Irving, request one.
For what it’s worth, Nets general manager Sean Marks was probably aware of the issue earlier this week and voiced confidence that his squad would be ready for the regular season. For the time being, we are waiting for further information.
It’s an odd moment to be a sports journalist, I must confess. I’m far more qualified to talk about James Harden-Nic Claxton pick-and-rolls than a municipal immunization law that may sway NBA championship chances. However, Kyrie Irving’s immunization status is taking center stage for the time being.