From the looks of things, it appears Kyrie Irving is set to miss yet another significant chunk of Brooklyn Nets games this season.
On Thursday, the team officially listed Irving as out/ineligible for Friday night’s preseason matchup against the defending-champion Milwaukee Bucks, per NBA insider Shams Charania. The superstar point guard has been unable to join the team for any workouts or practices this year due to New York’s local vaccine requirements.
Nets listed Kyrie Irving as out/ineligible for Friday’s preseason game vs. Bucks. It marks the first home game Irving will miss due to NYC’s vaccination requirement.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 7, 2021
Leading up to this season, Irving as been outspoken about his reservations with the COVID-19 vaccination. As an unvaccinated player on a New York team, he will be unable to play any home games in the Barclays Center or participate in any home practices in-state.
The Nets have yet to reveal their plans on how they’ll deal with this issue, but sources have indicated that the organization is “preparing for the possibility” that the team will be without Irving for home games and practices for the foreseeable future, per ESPN.
Tomorrow’s contest against the Bucks will be the first home game Irving is forced to miss due to COVID-19 protocols. According to an agreement made by the NBA and its player’s union, the seven-time All Star will be forced to forfeit $380,000 for each home game missed under virus protocols (under contract for $35.3 million this season).
Sooner or later, the Nets will be forced to decide if they will allow Irving to travel and participate in away games, or just sit out the season all together.
Either way, it doesn’t appear as though the point guard is budging on his vaccination stance anytime soon.