Nets fans expecting Mayor-elect Eric Adams — one of their own — to step in and help get Kyrie Irving back on the court are in for a disappointment.
Adams — the former Brooklyn borough president, and an unabashed Nets fan — calls Irving the piece his team needs to win its first NBA title. But he said he has no intention of loosening the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates to let Irving play while unvaccinated, and added this a matter for the star and the league to hash out.
“Let me tell you something, I’m a Nets fan, Brooklyn Nets, and I love Kyrie. I think he’s a piece we need for the championship,” Adams said Friday night on CNN. “This is something that the NBA has made an agreement if they’re going to perform in the city this is an agreement they made.
“I believe that it’s up to the NBA and Kyrie to come to an understanding of how they’re going to get through this. And I believe they can come to a resolution.”
Adams has expressed similar faith in Irving and the NBA coming to an agreement and the Nets star returning to the court. He just said don’t look to him to broker any deals, or bend any rules.
New York City instituted mandates that anybody coming into a gym or arena must have received at least a single dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Irving has refused to do so, and thus is barred from playing not only all the Nets’ home games at Barclays Center, but also their road tilts against the rival Knicks at the Garden.
With the thought of Irving as a road-only, part-time player untenable, the Nets simply told the All-Star to stay home until he’s fully eligible. That could come through getting a vaccine, or the city lifting (or easing) its mandate.
If the latter happens once Adams takes over Jan. 1, it will be because the science dictates it — not because of the furor over Irving’s absence.
“The NBA says it’s the rule in New York City and they’re simply obeying what New York City has ruled, and New York City is not going to change their rule,” Adams said. “And again, it’s up to the NBA and Kyrie Irving to a full understanding on how to keep him on the Nets and continue to look at all of our athletes that are coming here. And again I think the NBA and Kyrie will come to a conclusion on this work something out.”
When asked if he felt Irving should get vaccinated, Adams said simply that the choice was up to the Nets star.
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