Nets' head coach Steve Nash is excited about vaccine mandates ending and so is Kyrie Irving
The Nets' head coach Steve Nash is excited about the possibility of New York's vaccine mandate coming to an end and so is their star Kyrie Irving.
With recent comments from New York City's mayor suggesting that the vaccine and mask mandates could soon come to an end, there is one player on the Brooklyn Nets who will definitely be keeping an eye on things as they develop
Steve Nash says Kyrie Irving is excited
As the city of New York waits to see what their newly elected mayor will do where the vaccine mandate is concerned, the Brooklyn Nets are most definitely one institution that has a lot riding on the coming decision. It has been widely reported over the last few months, how the Nets and more specifically star player Kyrie Irving were affected by the City's policies. Irving was of course barred from playing in home games due to his unvaccinated status. That, however, seems set to end in the near future and Nets head coach Steve Nash knows just how much that means to the franchise and the 29 year old himself.
"I will say that he's been extremely locked in," Nash said on Wednesday after practice. "Kyrie's been great on the practice floor. He's been great in film sessions. He's been creating dialogue over aspects of our play. So I sense a real focus and urgency from him. And so if that's any indication, I would say he is getting excited at the prospect of being allowed to play in all our games and hopefully in the short term." Nash of course was speaking in the context of comments made by NYC's mayor, Eric Adams. Earlier on Wednesday Adams advised members of the press that could foresee an end to the vaccination mandate in the near future - in similar fashion to how things have played out in other cities across the country. Should that be the case, unvaccinated employees, like Irving, would be permitted to return to work.
What did Eric Adams say?
On Wednesday NYC mayor, Eric Adams was asked about how he would move forward with the mandates in light of other states phasing out their own. His response was simple, "I can't wait to get it done." Adams said. "I take my hat off to New Yorkers -- through masks, vaccines, through social distancing, we were hit with the uncertainty, the fear of COVID. I'm really proud of how we responded as New Yorkers. And every morning I meet with my health professionals. Because I always stated I'm going to follow the science. I'm not going to get ahead of the science, because I'm ready to get ahead of all of this and get back to a level of normalcy."
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"...But they're giving us clear instructions, they've given us benchmarks, we're going to follow those benchmarks. But I look forward in the next few weeks of going through a real transformation - that I don't have to wonder what you look like. ...We're going to get the city back up and operating. And we're going to be rolling out some things in the next day or so on how we're going to carry that out."
Nash and the Nets are holding their breath
Questioned on how the Nets as a whole were feeling in light of the news about Adams' comments, head coach Steve Nash admitted that he was pleased, but that the Nets can only sit and wait "It's great, obviously," Nash said. "It would be great for us to have Kyrie available for all our games. Having said that, it's not really in our control, so we'll leave it up to the mayor and wait." Nash also went on to state that he is confident that when the time comes, Irving will be fit and ready to go. The Nets have just 23 regular-season games left and are currently one spot away - they are 8th - from the final play-in spot which is currently held by the Boston Celtics.
"I think he's working towards being able to play in every game," Nash said. "So if the mandate is lifted, the expectation would be that he can play in all our games. I think that's what he's been waiting for and what he's excited about, and if the opportunity arises, the plan and the goal is to play every night." Irving for his part did in fact train on Wednesday, however, the Nets declined to allow him to speak with the press. Nets forward James Johnson, however, gave comment on Irving's situation, "Of course we would love for him to play," Johnson said. "And of course it doesn't make sense, but I don't make the rules on that. Hopefully soon we can have him with us every game, though."