According to a report from ESPN’s Tim Bontemps and Bobby Marks, the NBA and NBPA have agreed to reduce a player’s salary by 1/91.6 for each game they miss as a result of being unvaccinated, a conclusion that projects to impact Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving. This decision prices in preseason, regular season, and postseason games, though teams will not garner any relief from the luxury tax for reductions in player salaries.
Both New York and San Francisco have implemented city-wide COVID-19 vaccine mandates, which threatens to affect members of the Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets, and New York Knicks. These protocols stand to cost Irving roughly $380,000 for each home game he misses, which would run north of $15 million if he does not become vaccinated at any point throughout the year. Irving participated in Brooklyn’s media day last week via Zoom and conveyed a commitment to the Nets.
“I know that I’ll be there every day no matter what and just be present for my teammates as one of the leaders on the team and be there for my growing tribe off the court,” Irving said. “I know the focus has to be at an all-time high, no distractions. This is the last thing I wanted to create, was more distractions and more hoopla and more drama around this. I’m doing my best to maintain this with good intentions and a good heart.”
Irving participated in the Nets’ training camp last week in San Diego, though he, James Harden, and Kevin Durant all sat out in Sunday’s preseason opener against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bontemps and Marks reported the Nets are scheduled to practice in Brooklyn on Tuesday ahead of preseason games against the Milwaukee Bucks and the Minnesota Timberwolves, all of which Irving cannot take part in. Last month, Nets general manager Sean Marks said he does not anticipate the vaccination requirements “being any sort of hindrance” to the team and that he believes the situation will be rectified before the start of the regular season.