Nets bar Kyrie Irving until he’s vaccinated


The Nets announced Tuesday that they are indefinitely banning Kyrie Irving from all games and practices until he is “eligible to be a full participant.”

Irving, the team’s playmaker, had been faced with the prospect of being able to play only on the road with the Nets this season due to local New York coronavirus ordinances which require most individuals to be at least partially vaccinated to enter facilities such as sports arenas. The Nets play their home games at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

“Without a doubt losing a player of Kyrie’s caliber hurts,” Nets general manager Sean Marks said at a press conference. “I’m not going to deny it. But at the end of the day, our focus, that of our coaches and that of our organization, has to be on the players who are going to be involved here and fully participate.

Irving did not speak publicly about his vaccine status, instead asking for confidentiality, and the Nets had been dancing around the matter for weeks. In response to a question from the New York Times on Tuesday about whether Irving has been vaccinated, Marks said, “If he was vaccinated, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. I think it’s probably pretty clear.

Marks said Irving would not be paid for missed home games and that the decision to keep Irving out of the squad was made by himself and Nets owner Joe Tsai.

“Will there be a pushback from Kyrie and her camp?” I’m sure it’s not a decision they like, ”Marks said. “Kyrie loves to play basketball, wants to be there, wants to participate with his teammates. But again, it was a choice Kyrie had and he was aware of it.

Irving missed the Nets’ home opener against the Milwaukee Bucks after being listed as “ineligible” on the injury report. He was also not with the Nets in Philadelphia for their preseason game against the 76ers on Monday. Asked about his absence before the game, Steve Nash, Nets coach, said: “We’re just trying to take our time to figure out what it all means.”

Irving’s potential absence from home games had created a difficult situation for the Nets, a team with championship aspirations that had to weigh in if having it about half the time was worth it. His teammates had expressed their support for him.

“It will work out on its own,” said James Harden last week, adding, “I want him to be part of the squad, of course. It has been a big part of our success.

On Tuesday, Marks said he would be ready to welcome Irving’s return to the squad “under different circumstances.”

What to know about Covid-19 booster injections

The FDA has cleared booster shots for a select group of people who received their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months ago. This group includes: Pfizer beneficiaries who are 65 years of age or older or who live in long-term care facilities; adults who are at high risk for severe Covid-19 due to an underlying medical problem; healthcare workers and others whose jobs put them at risk. People with weakened immune systems may receive a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna four weeks after the second injection.

Regulators have yet to clear the booster shots for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients, but an FDA panel is due to meet to weigh the booster shots for adult Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients.

The CDC said the conditions that qualify a person for a booster shot include: hypertension and heart disease; diabetes or obesity; cancer or blood disorders; weakened immune system; chronic lung, kidney or liver disease; dementia and some disabilities. Pregnant women and current and former smokers are also eligible.

The FDA has cleared the boosters for workers whose work puts them at high risk of exposure to potentially infectious people. The CDC says this group includes: emergency medical workers; education workers; food and agricultural workers; manufacturing workers; correctional workers; workers in the US postal service; public transport workers; employees of grocery stores.

It is not recommended. For now, recipients of the Pfizer vaccine are advised to be vaccinated by Pfizer, and recipients of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson must wait until booster doses from these manufacturers are approved.

Yes. The CDC says the Covid vaccine can be given regardless of the timing of other vaccines, and many pharmacy websites allow people to schedule a flu shot along with a booster dose.

Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden, where the Knicks play, require all employees and guests aged 12 and over to prove that they have received at least one dose of vaccine, to comply with a city mandate, to unless they have a religious or medical exemption. San Francisco has a similar requirement that applies to the Chase Center, where the Golden State Warriors play. Mandates in both cities mean Knicks, Nets and Golden State players cannot play in their teams’ 41 home games without being vaccinated.

The New York and San Francisco ordinances do not apply to players of visiting teams.

It is possible, however, that additional players will miss matches if other cities pass similar ordinances that prevent unvaccinated people from attending indoor gatherings. Jonathan Isaac of the Orlando Magic and Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards, for example, have expressed their refusal to be vaccinated.

Either way, unvaccinated players face a plethora of rules and restrictions this season. With a few exceptions, they are required to stay at the team’s home or hotel when not at games or training. They are also not allowed to eat with vaccinated teammates, who have much more freedom to dine outside and interact with the public.

Michele Roberts, executive director of the players’ association, said in a recent interview that nearly 96% of the league’s players have been vaccinated.

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