Nets ready to welcome Irving back for road games — reports
NEW YORK – The Brooklyn Nets are ready to welcome Covid vaccine holdout Kyrie Irving for the team’s away NBA games, multiple US media outlets reported Friday.
As long as he remains unvaccinated, Irving can’t play games at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center because of New York vaccine mandates.
In October, the Nets said they would not welcome him back until he was able to be a full-time player, even though he would have been eligible to play games on the road.
The Athletic reported that Irving had been “ramping up” preparations to make his season debut, including getting regular Covid-19 tests.
ESPN reported that Nets owner Joe Tsai, general manager Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash are “fully supportive” of Irving’s return.
They lead the Eastern Conference with a 21-8 record, but with a stream of players — including James Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge and Bruce Brown – sidelined by Covid-19 protocols and others injured the Nets have been sadly depleted.
Kevin Durant has been carrying the Nets, scoring 51 points against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday and then followed up with a triple-double of 34 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in a win over Toronto.
He scored 31 points in the Nets’ win over Philadelphia on Thursday.
But Durant was already nursing a sore right ankle, and the Nets on Friday said he wouldn’t play against the Orlando Magic on Saturday.