Kyrie Irving has been unable to play in any of the Brooklyn Nets’ home games this season due to New York City’s vaccine mandate, which requires all residents to have at least one shot of any COVID vaccine to enter indoor gyms.
The controversial point guard can now play games at Barclays Center without getting the jab because of a loophole.
As reported by the New York Daily News, the Nets could grant their point guard full-time status by paying the penalties for noncompliance that are laid out in Bill de Blasio’s executive order. The dollar amount of the fine associated with each offense is as follows: Second offense: $1,000 fine; Third offense: $2,000 fine; Fourth offense: $5,000 fine; Fifth offense on up: $5,000 fine.
Irving has since played in two of Brooklyn’s past five contests, suiting up for road games against Indiana and Portland. With Harden out, Trail Blazers defeated the Nets 114-108.
Half of the Nets’ 42 remaining games will be played outside of New York, giving Kyrie enough of a sample size to add value to the team while only suiting up on the road.
Back in October, the Nets said Irving would not practice or play with the team until he can be a full-time participant.
“Given the evolving nature of the situation and after thorough deliberation, we have decided Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant,” Nets GM Sean Marks said in a statement at the time.
“Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual right to choose,” he added. “Currently, the choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the term, and we will permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability.”
Things will start to get a little bit crazy once the playoffs come around and the team really needs him for home games. The will to win a championship might convince the franchise to pay the small fee.