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Kyrie Irving to play Sunday vs Hornets as NYC mayor lifts vaccine mandate

As NYC mayor changes vaccine mandate, unvaccinated Yankees and Mets will be eligible for home games, including Kyrie Irving who is set to play vs Hornets.

As NYC mayor changes vaccine mandate, unvaccinated Yankees and Mets will be eligible for home games, including Kyrie Irving who is set to play vs Hornets.
Mark BrownAFP

Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving, who has not been allowed to play in any home games all season due to being unvaccinated, is finally set to be eligible as a full-time player and play in home games with the Nets. 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams is expected to lift the private sector vaccine mandate on Thursday, allowing Irving to play in Nets' remaining home games, with the earliest he can make his home debut on Sunday vs the Hornets.

Most recently, Irving was seen courtside at a Nets home game, after the NYC's indoor vaccine mandate had been relaxed, but was still not permitted to join his team at the locker room, suit up, or play.

Because Irving did head to the locker room afterwards, the Nets were fined $50,000 for "violating local New York City law and league health and safety protocols." 

Kevin Durant commented on the incident after the game, “Yeah, I don’t get it. But at this point now, it feels like somebody’s trying to make a statement or a point to flex their authority. But everybody out here is looking for attention, and that’s what I feel the mayor wants right now is some attention. He’ll figure it out soon. He better."

Why was Kyrie Irving not allowed to play at home?

The private-sector mandate that Mayor Adams had been attempting to lessen, has not allowed unvaccinated players to play for their teams at home, even though unvaccinated players from opposing teams are allowed to play NBA games in New York.

That’s why under the mandate, Irving, who's one of the league's top point guards, was only eligible to play in three of the Nets' remaining 10 games.

Brooklyn, who have fully supported Kyrie Irving’s decision on staying unvaccinated, are finally expecting to have him play this Sunday against Charlotte.

The Nets and Irving play the Heat on Saturday in Miami, an away game the 30-year-old is already eligible for.