NBA | NETS

Nets ban Kyrie Irving over his refusal to get covid-19 vaccine

Brooklyn Nets GM Sean Marks has confirmed that Kyrie Irving will not return to play for the franchise until he is vaccinated.

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Nets ban Kyrie Irving over his refusal to get COVID-19 vaccine
JARED C. TILTON AFP

It appears that the Brooklyn Nets’ ‘Big Three’ will be reduced to the ‘Big Two’ (namely, James Harden and Kevin Durant) for the start of the NBA regular season.

Nets GM Sean Marks has announced that Kyrie Irving has been banned from the team over his refusal to get vaccinated, but stressed that the franchise expects his decision as a personal choice.

Due to an ongoing vaccine mandate in New York, which bans unvaccinated individuals from entering indoor gyms, Irving will be unable to play the Nets’ home games at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, which is classed as a gym.

And while he would be eligible to play in road games outside of New York (except for San Francisco, which also has a vaccine mandate), Marks has said the franchise is not willing to have a part-time player on the roster.

Nets GM: "Kyrie has made a personal choice"

Brooklyn were chosen as the overwhelming favorites to win the championship in the NBA.com 2021 GM Survey. And despite the loss of one of their ‘Big Three’ players (at least for the immediate future), Marks stressed that the franchise’s goal to win this season’s NBA Championship remains unchanged.

"Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose. Currently the choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability. It is imperative that we continue to build chemistry as a team and remain true to our long-established values of togetherness and sacrifice," Marks said in a statement.

"Our championship goals for the season have not changed, and to achieve these goals each member of our organization must pull in the same direction. We are excited for the start of the season and look forward to a successful campaign that will make the borough of Brooklyn proud."

As pointed out by ESPN, the Nets are prevented by law from discussing whether a player is vaccinated or not, but the team's statement is a clear indication that Irving has not met New York's vaccination requirement, which requires individuals to have at least one vaccine dose before entering a public gym.

The Nets regular season tips off on 19 October, when they will travel to the Fiserv Forum to take on reigning champions the Milwaukee Bucks.