Brooklyn Nets General Manager Sean Marks said Tuesday that Kyrie IrvingNew York City’s decision not to adhere to New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate left the organization “no choice” but to send him off the team until he can fully participate.
“Ultimately, yes,” said Marks during a hastily scheduled virtual press conference on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the team’s decision. “He has a choice to make and he has made his choice.
“Again, it is my job to make what we believe to be the best decision and the best choice for the organization as a whole. Not always being greeted with open arms and a thumbs up are tough decisions, just as Kyrie sure didn’t have it easy either [decision] not to be around his teammates. “
At 11am on Tuesday, the Nets released a statement from Marks saying that the team had decided that Irving would not have “part-time availability” and that he would be welcome back once he completed the New York City mandate.
The vaccination mandate, which went into effect last month, says anyone who walks into an indoor gym – including Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden, the homes of the Nets and New York Knicks – must have had at least one COVID-19 vaccination.
As a result, Irving was unable to play 43 regular season games – 41 at the Barclays Center plus two at MSG – and two other preseason games in Brooklyn. Marks confirmed that Irving would only lose money on these games, about $ 380,000 per game.
When asked whether Irving’s fellow stars Kevin Durant and James HardenWhen asked about the decision, Marks said that “everyone” in the organization was aware of what was going on, but that he and owner Joe Tsai were the ones who made it.
“Ultimately, that decision was Joe Tsai and myself, and we thought that decision was the right move for the organization at this point in time,” said Marks.
In her eyes, the right step was to break away from a situation that has gripped the Nets since the training camp began, when Irving came to the team’s media day from home because he couldn’t be in person at Barclays Center.
After flying to training camp in San Diego and training with the Nets for a week, Irving was absent from the team last week before the city’s decision to use the exercise facility was changed late Friday because it was a “private workspace.” “- as opposed to a public one like the Barclays Center.
Then, after Irving had trained with the team in Brooklyn Saturday and Sunday, he didn’t travel to Philadelphia for the Monday night game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
“We’re just trying to control this,” Nets coach Steve Nash said ahead of the game on Monday when asked why the team had left Irving at home. “We don’t really know what’s going to happen tomorrow. So I think it really is … we’re just trying to take our time to figure out what it all means.
“There seems to be new information every week, and we’re just in the process of navigating not only the information and parameters, but what’s on the road, what it looks and feels like, and what we can do to make it happen do this work and all these things. That’s all.”
That vague answer was replaced with a far clearer picture on Tuesday morning – first by Marks’ testimony and then by his press conference in which he said he had several conversations with Irving about the situation before deciding the team would be like this would continue.
“Well, if he was vaccinated, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.
Nets GM Sean Marks asked if Kyrie Irving was vaccinated against COVID-19.
He was also asked directly if Irving was vaccinated, to which he said, “Well, if he were vaccinated, we wouldn’t have this discussion. I think that’s probably pretty clear.”
However, Marks did not say whether he had personally shared the news with Irving when asked directly about it.
“Kyrie has made it clear that he has a choice on this matter and it will ultimately be up to him what he decides,” said Marks. “We respect the fact that he has a choice and he can have his own right to choose. Right now the best way to organize is the path we’re taking and I don’t want to speak for Kyrie. At the right time, I’m sure he will address his feelings and what the path might be for him. “
But while Irving’s path may be vague, Brooklyn decided Tuesday that a week before the Nets kick off the NBA season with a game in Milwaukee against defending champions Bucks, Irving would not show Irving until his vaccination status changes.
“I think we had it all,” said Marks. “We’ve looked at everything. When you make a decision like this, you don’t want to be rash. Include all parties, think about the different outcomes, I think we all know what our goal is for this year and how this, a decision like this, may be able to [impact] this ultimate goal. Choices are never easy, but at the end of the day I think we are putting together a group of people who will be able to fully participate and that is what matters. And we are not looking for partners who will be part-time.
“I don’t think that’s fair not only to the team and staff, the owners and the fans, but honestly it’s not fair to Kyrie if you put someone out there who may not get the right ramp. Oops and proper build and so on and looking as good as he or the team should in other circumstances. That’s why this decision was ultimately made. “