Brooklyn Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving, who remains unvaccinated against COVID-19, now will be allowed to practice at the team’s home facility despite a New York City mandate requiring vaccination to enter certain large indoor spaces.
According to The Athletic and ESPN, the Nets’ practice facility in Brooklyn, the HSS Training Center, has been reclassified as a “private office building” instead of a gym. Gyms and large entertainment venues like Barclays Center fall under the city’s mandate, while private offices do not.
That means Irving can rejoin the team for home practices going forward — but it does not settle the matter of Brooklyn’s 41 home games this upcoming season.
Irving sat out the Nets’ first preseason home game Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks, listed as “ineligible” by the team due to his vaccination status.
The Nets haven’t made clear whether they’re willing to accommodate Irving as a de facto part-time player this season. Brooklyn opens the regular season with two road games before welcoming the Charlotte Hornets for an Oct. 24 home opener.
San Francisco has instituted a vaccine requirement similar to New York’s, and Los Angeles announced one going into effect in late November.
Irving will receive a reduction in pay equivalent to 1/91.6 of his salary for every game he misses due to his vaccine status.