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Eric Adams: NYC Won't Change Vaccine Mandate Amid Kyrie Irving's Nets Absence

Erin WalshNovember 6, 2021

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

New York City mayor-elect Eric Adams said Friday during an appearance on CNN that the city will not be changing its vaccine requirements, according to Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix.

This means that it's highly unlikely point guard Kyrie Irving plays for the Brooklyn Nets this season if he remains unvaccinated.

During his campaign, Adams said he wanted to revisit NYC's vaccine mandates. 

"We need to revisit how we are going to address the vaccine mandates. Now, I stated I did not want to Monday-morning-quarterback the mayor. This is his time to be the man; he has to make the decisions," Adams said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," per the New York Post.

Adams' recent comments come after Nets head coach Steve Nash said earlier this week the team would welcome him back if New York's vaccine mandate were to be changed. 

Irving cannot practice or play with the Nets until he complies with New York's COVID-19 vaccination rules, the team announced before the beginning of the 2021-22 season. 

It's unclear if the veteran has any plans to get vaccinated in the near future.

Irving was still a big part of the team's success last year alongside Kevin Durant and James Harden. The 29-year-old averaged 26.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game while shooting a career-best 50.6 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from deep in 54 games.

He suffered an ankle injury in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks. He missed the rest of the series, and the Nets, who had a 2-1 lead at the time of the injury, went on to lose the series in seven games. 

Brooklyn has played well this season despite not having Irving. The Nets entered Friday's game against the Detroit Pistons with a 5-3 record. 

However, it's hard not to focus on the impact Irving being sidelined continues to have on the organization. If he were playing, Brooklyn would be much better off. 

If Irving remains unvaccinated and sidelined, the Nets might look to trade him. However, it's unclear if they have any plans to do so as the seven-time All-Star reportedly doesn't want to leave Brooklyn.  

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