Kyrie Irving returned to training on Sunday, but the Brooklyn Nets sound like a team that is grappling with the knowledge that their starting XI will not play in home games for the foreseeable future.
While the situation around Irving’s home game availability could change due to New York City’s COVID-19 protocols, Nets manager Steve Nash said he knows the team will have to play games without Irving this season.
“We know he doesn’t play at home games,” Nash told reporters after Irving first trained with the team in Brooklyn this preseason. “We will definitely have to play without him this year. So it just depends on when, where and how much.”
New York City’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate requires an individual to have proof of at least one COVID-19 vaccine to enter indoor gyms – including the Barclays Center, home of the Nets, and Madison Square Garden, the home of Curtsey.
But on Friday, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps sources confirmed that Irving would be allowed to practice at the team’s HSS training center after the city determined that the Nets’ Brooklyn exercise facility is a “private office building” rather than an indoor gym.
“We’re just starting to navigate this,” Nash told reporters on Sunday. “There’s a new rule coming on Friday and here we are. We’re trying to look at the bigger picture. In the short term, I’m not sure we have that many answers.”
“I think at the moment we assume he is not available for home games but everything can change,” added Nash later. “Who should say? City ordinances could change. . We found out that he can come back into the building on Friday. Things are changing. Nobody’s been through this before, and we’re just trying to find out as we go. “
The city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate prevented Irving from attending the team’s media day on September 27 at the Barclays Center. Irving ended up attending a home video conference. During the Nets training camp in San Diego, he trained with the team for a week.
Upon returning to Brooklyn, Irving missed four straight practice sessions and one home game in the preseason on Friday. But on the same day as the pre-season game, the city decided on the HSS training center. Irving joined his teammates at an outdoor team event in Brooklyn Bridge Park on Saturday and then trained on the team’s facility on Sunday.
Nash said Irving won’t be playing in Philadelphia, where the Nets are playing, on Monday 76s in a preseason game. The Nets end their preseason with a home game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday. If Irving doesn’t get a vaccination by then, he’ll spend the entire preseason without attending an exhibition game as the Nets beat him and several other veterans from the preseason opener Los Angeles Lakers on Octoder 3rd.
Nash said Irving will be allowed to participate in anything in practice on Sunday.
“We haven’t seen that, I’ve seen it before,” said Forward Blake Griffin said what the nets will do if Irving can’t play in home games. “Whatever he decides, whatever the team decides what agreement we make or whatever happens, we will just support him. If he is here we can use him. He’s great. I won’t even waste time on it waste trying. ” to wrap my head around something I don’t yet know the situation of. We will adapt and act accordingly. “